Nowitzki helps Dallas stop Timberwolves’ streak
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki poured in a game-high 34
points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Dallas to a 97-87 win over Minnesota
at the Target Center.
Josh Howard added 13 points and 12 boards while Jerry Stackhouse scored 12 for
the Mavericks, who have won three of their last four games. Alan Henderson
posted 11 points and a game-best 15 rebounds while Erick Dampier had 11 points
and 11 boards in the win.
“We knew we had to step it up defensively and the biggest key was our
rebounding,” said Nowitzki.
Kevin Garnett netted 32 points and grabbed 12 boards for the Timberwolves, who
had their five-game winning streak halted. Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points
and Eddie Griffin contributed 14 in the loss.
“They played pretty good basketball and when it works it looks great and when
it doesn’t work it looks terrible,” said Szczerbiak. “They try and get you in
mismatches and throw a lot of crazy lineups up there. They try and make you
match up with them and you just got to stay aggressive against them the whole
entire game and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Minnesota played without guard Latrell Sprewell who served a one-game
suspension after his actions in last Saturday’s 107-100 overtime win over the
LA Clippers at the Staples Center. Sprewell was suspended without pay after he
began a verbal tirade, which included numerous obscenities, toward Clippers’
fans during overtime.
Minnesota led by as many as seven points, at 26-19, in the first quarter, but
the Mavericks closed out the period in strong fashion. Dallas used a 9-2 run
to end the frame and tie the score at 28-28 after one.
The Mavs led 37-35 early in the second quarter, but then reeled off seven
consecutive points to pull ahead by nine. During the burst, Dampier scored
four points and Howard added a three-pointer. The Timberwolves did pull within
three points moments later, but Dallas carried a 50-46 edge into the locker
Henderson scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Nowitzki also
netted 11 points in the opening half. Szczerbiak paced Minnesota with 13
points in the opening 24 minutes.
In the third quarter, the margin grew as high as 10 points as Nowitzki’s
three-point play with around three minutes left in the period staked the
Mavericks to a 67-57 cushion. Griffin’s basket in the waning seconds, though,
brought Minnesota within 71-64 after 36 minutes.
The margin grew to 11 points early in the fourth quarter and Minnesota never
threatened again. Dallas’ edge grew as high as 13 points in the final period.