Hardaway scores 23 to lead Mavs past Timberwolves 139-123
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks shook off one of their most frustrating losses of the season with one of their most impressive offensive performances.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 points to lead seven Mavericks in double figures, and Dallas never trailed in a 139-123 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Dallas scored 81 points before halftime, its biggest half of the season, to help erase the sting of a controversial 111-107 loss Saturday in Atlanta that the team is appealing. The Mavericks improved to 18-5 following a loss.
Luka Doncic added 20 points and could have found his way to another triple-double, but the Mavericks were able to rest most of their starters in the fourth quarter. He finished with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Hardaway, Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis did not play in the final period, with teammates such as Seth Curry (19 points) and Delon Wright (16) helping to expand the lead.
“Obviously, people talk about me and KP,” Doncic said. “They don't talk about other players and what they do for this team, like Seth, Tim, Delon, everybody. We're a whole team together and they should be talked about more.”
The reeling Timberwolves, playing without star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, lost their fifth in a row and 18th in 19 games.
D’Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 29 points and Malik Beasley had 21. The Timberwolves, who turned over nine players on their roster at the recent trade deadline, have lost nine straight on the road.
“I would say it’s tough because we’re on the road right now,” Beasley said. “It’s not like we’re at home practicing and getting better, having a mini-training camp or anything like that. We’re all learning on the fly, but at the same time we’ve got to hold each other accountable.”
Dallas shot 56% in the first half and went 12 of 23 from 3-point range en route to an 81-65 halftime lead. The Mavericks finished the game at just over 50% from the field.
“We can be great (offensively),” Hardaway said. “It just comes down to making the right reads, making the right passes, getting second-chance opportunities and running the floor.”
J.J. Barea played in his 627th game for the Mavericks, passing Michael Finley for fifth all-time behind Dirk Nowitzki, Brad Davis, Derek Harper and Rolando Blackman.
Barea gave the team an immediate lift upon entering late in the first quarter, making a driving reverse layup followed by a 3-pointer to give Dallas its first double-digit lead at 37-27. He hit another 3 to help put the game away in the fourth quarter and finished with 12 points and eight assists.
Russell finished 10 for 20 from the field after sitting out Sunday night’s loss at Denver for rest. His 29 points were the most since he joined Minnesota at the trade deadline.
“I trust what they do,” Russell said of his load management plan. “The performance team’s great here. They’re way more educated than I am in that aspect.”
Timberwolves: Of the 11 Minnesota players who took the court in the teams’ last meeting on Dec. 4, only two – Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver – dressed for the Wolves on Monday night. Towns missed his third game in a row with a broken left wrist and the other eight are no longer with the team. “We have in a sense nine new players in the last little bit here,” coach Ryan Saunders said. “We’re trying to speed up the process with these guys, learn each other.” … Jake Layman played his first game since Nov. 18, having missed the last 40 with a left toe sprain.
Mavericks: G Jalen Brunson sat out and will miss at least the next four games with a right shoulder sprain. Coach Rick Carlisle said Brunson will travel on the team’s upcoming four-game road trip while rehabbing. … Carlisle did not discuss the team’s appeal filed after its loss to the Hawks, saying: “We’ll hear something when we hear something.” Source: usatoday.com