Luka Returns but Mavs fall to Timberwolves 110-108
DALLAS (AP) – Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins hit the go-ahead bucket in the final minute and the Minnesota Timberwolves turned back a fourth-quarter rally by Dallas for a 110-108 victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Dallas rookie sensation Luka Doncic scored 27 points, but passed up a potential winning 3-pointer on another cold night from long range. Jalen Brunson took the pass and missed from 3 at the buzzer on a shot that would have required a replay to see if the fellow rookie got it off in time.
Wiggins scored 19 points, including an easy tiebreaking shot inside on an assist from Josh Okogie with 19 seconds remaining. The Timberwolves won for the third time in 11 games and avoided a three-game season sweep by Dallas, which trailed by 12 early in the fourth.
Dirk Nowitzki, who has just two home games remaining in what is expected to be the 40-year-old’s final season, scored nine points. The Mavericks were coming off their first two-game winning streak since early February.
Nowitzki scored his first seven points in the first 3½ minutes of the second quarter after joining a presentation from Dallas County officials, who a day earlier declared April the “month of Dirk” while honoring him for recently passing Wilt Chamberlain for sixth on the career scoring list.
Towns, who scored at least 30 points in both of the first two Dallas meetings, was 12 of 15 from the field. The two-time All-Star recorded his 53rd double-double of the season and had three blocks.
Doncic, returning after missing two games with a right thigh contusion, wasn’t the only old, cold Dallas shooter. He was 2 of 8 while Nowitzki, playing a record 21st season with the same franchise, was 1 of 8 as the Mavericks shot 18% (7 of 39) from beyond the arc.
The 20-year-old Doncic is shooting 23 percent from 3 since March 1.
Mavericks: F Dorian Finney-Smith sat with a cut on his mouth. He was the only player to appear in all 77 Dallas games coming in. … Brunson scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter, but had his 15-game streak of double-digit scoring stopped. … After making two 3s in a game for the first time in his career in a win over Philadelphia, 7-foot-2 center Salah Mejri missed all four from long range but made all five from inside the arc and scored 11 points.
Timberwolves: Miami at home Friday.
Mavericks: Memphis at home Friday.
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