Love, Rubio lead T-wolves over Mavs in OT
DALLAS (AP) – Kevin Love scored 35 points, including the go-ahead basket in overtime, Ricky Rubio had a triple-double and the Minnesota Timberwolves blew several leads before hanging on for a 123-122 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
The Timberwolves broke a six-game stretch of alternating wins and losses with their second straight victory to move two games over .500 for the first time since Nov. 23.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 for Dallas and put the Mavericks ahead with a fadeaway over Love with 33 seconds left in overtime before Love scored on a jump hook with 17 seconds to go.
Nowitzki missed on another try over Love in the final seconds as the Mavericks saw a three-game winning streak end and missed a chance to move a season-high 15 games over .500.
Rubio had 22 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds for his third career triple-double.
The Mavericks trailed by 22 in the first half and were still down 13 with 7 minutes to go before Monta Ellis scored the last 12 Dallas points of regulation on a three-point play and three consecutive 3-pointers.
The last of Ellis’ shots from long range put Dallas up 113-111 — the first lead for the Mavericks since early in the first quarter — but Rubio hit a pair of free throws for the tie.
Nowitzki missed a 3-pointer to finish his 0-for-5 shooting in the fourth quarter, but Kevin Martin missed from just inside the arc and Robbie Hummel missed from just outside it for Minnesota. Dallas’ Devin Harris was short on a mid-court heave at the buzzer in regulation.
Nowitzki hit his first shot of overtime from the baseline and added a 3-pointer for a 120-115 lead, but the Timberwolves went back in front by a point on a reverse layup from Rubio and four free throws from Love.
All five Minnesota starters were in double figures. Martin scored 19, Corey Brewer had 11 of his 13 points during Minnesota’s fast start in the first quarter and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Former Dallas guard J.J. Barea had 15 points.
Ellis finished with 22 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Shawn Marion had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Sam Dalembert had 14 boards.
Early in the game, the Dallas defense didn’t look anything like a unit that had held consecutive teams to less than 40-percent shooting. Minnesota was at 69 percent after Dieng hit a hook shot to give the Timberwolves their biggest lead of the first half at 50-28 early in the second quarter.
The Mavericks forced four straight misses to spark a 24-5 run that got them back in the game. Nowitzki opened the spurt with a jumper, and Jae Crowder finished it with a dunk after a steal by Jose Calderon to make it 55-52.
NOTES: Rubio had seven assists in the first quarter, one more than Dallas as a team. Minnesota had 12 for the quarter. … Ellis was called for a technical after getting his fourth foul in the third quarter. Referee Monty McCutchen screamed at Ellis that he had been warned four times as Ellis walked to the Dallas bench.