The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 140-136 Saturday night in their home opener at the American Airlines Center. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 23-16 (.590) all-time in home openers. Dallas faced Minnesota in its home opener for the first time in franchise history.
Mavericks rookie guard/forward Luka Dončić tallied a team-high 26 points (8-16 FGs, 4-9 3FGs, 6-9 FTs), including 15 in the second quarter, to go along with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 36 minutes. Dončić (19 years, 234 days) became the youngest player in Mavericks history to record a 20-point game. The previous youngest was Dončić’s teammate, Dennis Smith Jr., who had 22 points at Washington (11/7/17) last season at 19 years, 347 days old. Before Smith, Dončić’s other teammate, Dirk Nowitzki (29 points at Phoenix 4/16/99, at 20 years, 301 days), was the youngest Maverick ever to produce a 20-point outing.
Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan posted his second double-double of the season (266th career) with 22 points (8-10 FGs, 6-7 FTs), a game-high 10 rebounds, two steals and a game-high five blocks in 32 minutes. Jordan, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds in his Mavericks debut at Phoenix on Wednesday (10/17), recorded his first 20-point, 10-rebound effort of the season (38th career). He’s averaging 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks through Dallas’ first two games of the season.
Mavericks second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr. totaled 19 points, including Dallas’ final six points of the game, to go along with three rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes. With the score knotted at 134 late in the game, Smith recorded a three-point play to put Dallas ahead for good (he hit a step-back jumper over Derrick Rose with 6.4 seconds left and was fouled on the play).
The Mavericks’ starting backcourt of Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews finished with 19 points apiece on the night. Matthews (12) and Smith (10) combined for 22 of Dallas’ 43 fourth-quarter points.
Mavericks guard J.J. Barea recorded his first double-double of the season (22nd career) with 12 points and a game-high 11 assists in 22 minutes off the bench. Barea, who finished one point shy of a double-double in the season opener at Phoenix on 10/17 (nine points and 10 assists), has now tallied double-digit assists in each of the Mavericks’ first two games of the season. He had a career-high 10 double-digit assist games in 2017-18.
Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, who scored a team-high 16 points in the season opener at Phoenix on Wednesday (10/17), produced 19 points (6-7 FGs, 1-2 3FGs, 6-8 FTs), six rebounds, two assists and one block in 17 minutes off the bench. He’s averaging 17.5 points (second on the team) through each of Dallas’ first two games of the season.
The Mavericks attempted a franchise-record 50 3-pointers (17-of-50). The previous team-record was 49 vs. New Jersey (18-of-49) on 3/5/96.
The Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to beat the Timberwolves. The largest deficit Dallas came back from last season was 18 at Memphis on 11/22/17 (Dallas won 95-94).
Karl-Anthony Towns (31), Derrick Rose (28), Jeff Teague (22) and Andrew Wiggins (19) combined for 100 of Minnesota’ 136 points.
The Timberwolves begin the game on a 16-6 run and built a 15-point advantage (24-9) midway through the first quarter.
Dallas trailed by 12 (54-42) less than 4 minutes into the start of the second quarter, but used a 14-2 burst (capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Luka Dončić) to knot the game at 56 with 5:09 left in the period. The Mavericks outscored the Timberwolves 32-23 in the second stanza and score was tied at 69 at the half.
The Mavericks were up six (97-91) with under 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves closed the period on an 8-0 run and led by two (99-97) going into the fourth.
Dirk Nowitzki (left ankle surgery), Harrison Barnes (right hamstring strain) and Devin Harris (left hamstring strain) all missed tonight’s game for Dallas due to injury. Jimmy Butler (precautionary rest) and Justin Patton (right foot) did not play for Minnesota.
The attendance for the game was 20,205. The Mavericks have now sold out 679 consecutive regular-season home games, which is an NBA-best sellout streak. The streak began on 12/15/01 and Dallas has sold out an additional 67 playoff games during that same stretch.
The Mavericks’ next game is vs. Chicago on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. CT