DALLAS — Dallas forward Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 30 points, including a back-breaking 3-pointer in overtime, to push the Mavericks to a 106-94 victory over the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday at American Airlines Center.
Parsons scored seven points in the extra period to give Dallas its second consecutive overtime victory in its NBA-record fourth consecutive home game that went into overtime. The Mavs outscored the young Wolves 32-10 in the final 11:46 of regulation and overtime.
“We were down 10 with six minutes to go or something like that. We just said ‘Hey, let’s put some stops together and put some pressure on these guys’ — and that’s what we did,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “The building got into it and we found a way to get to overtime. Four consecutive overtime games, from what I understand, had never happened before, so that’s an NBA record. Fifty three minutes … whatever it takes. We’ve got to find ways to win games.”
Dallas (25-19) was playing without leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki, who missed the game with swelling in his right knee. While Parsons led the way, the Mavs got balanced scoring, with five other players adding between 10 and 15 points.
“That’s a huge hole to fill,” Parsons said of Nowitzki’s absence. “We knew with him and Raymond (Felton) out, we needed guys to step up, and everyone contributed. The starting five started matching
shots early with them, but we had a great second quarter. Give them credit, for a team who played last night, to continue to play through overtime was big for them. I was trying to be aggressive and my teammates did a great job.”
Meanwhile, for the Timberwolves (13-31), it was the same story, different verse. Coming off Tuesday’s lost lead at New Orleans, Minnesota went up 84-74 with 6:46 to go in Wednesday’s game.
But almost instantly, the Wolves’ second 10-point bulge of the game began to shrink. Four minutes later, Mavs guard Wesley Matthews completed a 13-2 run to put Dallas ahead 87-86.
Minnesota rookie forward Karl-Anthony Towns, who put forth a huge effort with 27 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, drained a 3-pointer to make it 89-87 in favor of the Wolves. It stayed that way until Matthews drove and tied it at 89-89.
Neither team could score the go-ahead bucket despite multiple attempts. Matthews fumbled the Mavs’ final possession and missed a 3-point heave. Wolves forward Shabazz Muhammad raced downcourt, but couldn’t get a shot off in time, forcing overtime.
In OT, it was all Dallas, with Chandler, who was 13-for-20 from the floor, starting an avalanche of scoring after what had been a rough night from the floor without Nowitzki to anchor the offense.
Dallas was just 5-for-25 from beyond the arc, but it really didn’t matter because the young Wolves didn’t take advantage, going just 5-for-23.
“We definitely took a great step tonight. That’s one thing I can definitely say we did,” Towns said. “We played well. We played tremendously well. We did a great job again of building a lead early. We just couldn’t contain. We couldn’t do what we needed to do, which was hold a lead, and it hurt us at the end.”
The veteran-laden Mavs got 15 points apiece from Matthews and reserve guard Devin Harris, 14 from Nowitzki-replacement Charlie Villanueva and 12 apiece from center ZaZa Pachulia and guard Deron Williams.
The silver lining for Minnesota was two huge games from its young stars. Along with Towns, guard Andrew Wiggins finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists. There simply wasn’t enough help. Muhammad was the only other Minnesota player in double figures with 14 points. Guard Ricky Rubio had two points on 1-for-9 shooting, including a key miss late in the fourth quarter, and forward Tayshaun Prince, who started, was held scoreless.
“We see it every night,” Wolves coach Sam Mitchell said when asked if he saw progress in his team. “Our young guys do something that they learn from every single night. It might not be a major thing, but all of those little things over the course of a season eventually are going to get us where we want to go.”
The Wolves’ first half, just like the second half, was a microcosm of their season. They played well for nearly the entire time, building a 33-23 lead after one quarter, leading by as many as nine in the second quarter, only to see it all go down the tubes in the final minutes to go into halftime tied at 49-49.