The Dallas Mavericks are coming off the most lopsided victory in franchise history. Saturday night’s showdown against struggling Minnesota could also get out of hand if the Timberwolves’ latest effort is any indication.
Dallas (6-3) is set to close a four-game homestand after blowing out winless Philadelphia 123-70 on Thursday for its second consecutive victory. The 53-point victory surpassed a 128-78 win at New York on Jan. 24, 2010.
"The sum total of the whole thing was our guys played hard, they played together, they concentrated, they didn’t have any slippage tonight and we got the job done," coach Rick Carlisle told the team’s official website. "The score is very lopsided, but you’ve got to get the win and move on to the next one."
The Mavericks outscored the 76ers 44-26 in the paint and 32-9 in transition. They had 39 points off 28 turnovers and limited Philadelphia to 29.9 percent shooting. Dirk Nowitzki shot 7 of 8 and finished with 21 points in just over 20 minutes.
"It was an all-around good effort, and it’s over now. We’ve got to focus on Minnesota (on Saturday) and finish the homestand off right," Nowitzki said.
The Timberwolves (2-6) have dropped four in a row after enduring a 139-91 drubbing at New Orleans on Friday. Minnesota shot 3 of 14 from 3-point range and never had a chance after entering the second quarter down 43-19.
"I am at a loss for words," guard Kevin Martin said. "Being a competitor, you don’t wish nights like this on anyone. We just have to stick together, get through this storm."
The Timberwolves’ season-worst 24 turnovers led to 33 points for the Pelicans, who set new franchise marks for points, field-goal percentage (66.7) and largest margin of victory.
"I’ve been in the league 17 years and I’ve never seen anyone shoot like that," coach Flip Saunders said." I could have put five chairs out on the court and they wouldn’t have shot that well."
Star rookie Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 20 points and Corey Brewer added 18 off the bench. Martin finished with three after going 0 for 6 from the floor. He’s averaged 7.7 on 27.3 percent shooting over a three-game stretch after scoring 26.0 per game in his previous three.
Martin averaged 24.3 points as Minnesota took three of four from Dallas in 2013-14. However, another victory could be hard to come by with Kevin Love in Cleveland. The All-Star forward averaged 31.0 points on 54.4 percent shooting in last season’s meetings.
The Timberwolves are relatively healthy aside from point guard Ricky Rubio, who remains out with an ankle injury. The Spaniard had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in a 123-122 overtime win at Dallas on March 19, Minnesota’s fourth win in five visits.
Forward Thaddeus Young didn’t play Friday and will miss at least one more game following the death of his mother. He’s averaging 14.3 points in his first season with the team.
Dallas is averaging an NBA-best 107.1 points, including 112.6 at home. The Mavericks are 4-1 on their own court while the Timberwolves are 1-4 on the road. Minnesota is giving up 107.4 points per game to rank 27th in the league.
Monta Ellis has scored a combined 48 points in the last two home games against the Timberwolves. Newcomer Chandler Parsons averaged 20.0 points over four games against Minnesota last season while with Houston – tied for his best mark against any opponent.