Wolves snap 3-game skid, win 112-106 at Dallas
DALLAS (AP) — Kevin Martin had 27 points with some key baskets down the stretch, Kevin Love had his usual double-double and the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a three-game losing streak with a 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
Martin made two free throws with just under 6 minutes left to put Minnesota up 94-90. Ricky Rubio then had a steal that led to a long fast-break jumper by Martin, who later beat the shot clock with a jumper and then added a 3-pointer. That stretched the lead to 103-92, matching its largest, with 3:12 left.
Love, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, also had a buzzer-beating shot. His 3-pointer with just under 2 minutes left made it 106-95.
All five starters scored in double figures for Minnesota, which had lost five of its previous six games. Nikola Pekovic also had 21 points, while Corey Brewer had 13 and Rubio 12.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 23 for Dallas, which lost for the second night in a row.
The Mavericks lost 88-87 at Atlanta on Friday night after blowing a 17-point lead in the second half and losing starting point guard Jose Calderon because of a bone bruise on his right ankle. Calderon didn’t play against the Timberwolves, and coach Rick Carlisle described him as day to day.
Ellis put the Mavs up 66-64 Saturday when Shawn Marion rebounded a shot and passed out for a 3-pointer. Ellis tipped in a miss by Marion to make it 68-64 midway through the third, though Dallas ended the quarter with the same seven-point deficit it had at halftime after both teams scored 30 points in the third.
That was also part of the 5-minute span when a bloodied Nowitzki came out of the game, even though no foul was called when he got hit by Rubio in a scramble for the ball. He never left the bench, getting treatment for the bleed near the bridge of his nose.
The game was tied at 71 when Nowitzki came back in with 3:50 left, and he almost immediately had an assist on a go-ahead, 18-foot jumper by Ellis.
After J.J. Barea had a turnover on a bad pass, Nowitzki missed a 20-footer. Barea grabbed that rebound, leading to Love’s tying short turnaround bank shot before Brewer’s 3 made it 76-73 and put Minnesota ahead to stay.
Minnesota had a 52-41 lead when Love rebounded a missed 3-pointer by rookie Gal Mekel and passed ahead to Brewer for a breakaway layup with 2:10 left in the first half. Brewer also had a 3-pointer in that 13-4 run that over 3 minutes.
Mekel, the rookie from Israel, made his first NBA start. He had six points on 3-of-12 shooting with seven assists.
NOTES: Luc Mbah a Moute, acquired Tuesday for former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, made his debut for Minnesota. He had four points and seven rebounds. … It was the 100th regular-season meeting between the teams. Dallas leads the series 57-43, though Minnesota has won the first two of four meetings this season. … Barea, a former Mavericks player, got a nice ovation when he entered the game.