Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry combined to score 19 of the Mavericks' 28-fourth quarter points and that was the difference in the 104-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The dynamic duo triggered the 11-2 run over the final 2:38 en route to the win. With the victory over Minnesota, Dallas secured their 11th straight season with at least 50 wins. The Mavericks are just the third franchise (since the NBA went to an 82-game schedule in 1967) to record at least 11 consecutive seasons with 50-plus wins (also the Spurs from 1999-present, the Lakers from 1979-1991).
Dallas swept the season series with Minnesota. The Mavericks have won 18 of the last 19 match-ups with the Timberwolves, including 21 of the last 23. Their one loss in the last 19 meetings with Minnesota came at home last season on Feb. 5, 2010 (lost 117-108). Dallas has won 10 of the last 11 match-ups at home against Minnesota.
It was not a pretty way to earn their 11x50. The Mavericks had to gut out a win versus a team that only has 17 wins to speak of for the regular season and they were without their best player, Kevin Love. There are some positives to take away in the win, but they do have to go back to the drawing board and work things out. The team will remain positive and look to build their confidence as they go on their longest road trip of the regular season. It should be a galvanizing experience for the boys in blue.
Did THAT Just Happen?!
- Shawn Marion returned to the lineup after missing the game against the Golden State Warriors. He moved into the starting lineup at the small forward position and Peja Stojakovic came off the bench for the second consecutive game. Corey Brewer was a healthy scratch for the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle said that he has been doing a lot of one-on-one work with Brewer during practices. The coach had a lot of positive things to say about the former Florida Gator when speaking to the media prior to the game. People need to remember that Brewer is a young player and the situation in Minnesota lacked a lot of structure. Brewer is signed on for three years and he's considered a young development piece that can fit into their core going forward.
- Shawn Marion made a significant impact in his return. Marion, who had 13 first-half points in his last game against San Antonio on Mar. 18, tallied 14 points before intermission on Thursday. He’s averaging 12.8 points in the first half over his last five games, while shooting 64.4 percent (29-of-45) from the field before intermission in that span. Marion finished with 17 points (8-14 shooting), six boards and two blocks vs. the Timberwolves.
- Dirk Nowitzki recorded a team-high 30 points and a game-high-tying 11 rebounds vs. Minnesota on Thursday. It marked his fourth double-double in the last six games (14th of the season). The Mavericks moved to 12-2 when Nowitzki records a double-double.
- Jason Kidd went scoreless versus Minnesota on Thursday, but recorded six rebounds, 13 assists, three steals and one block in 35 minutes. It marked the fourth time he’s gone scoreless in a game this season, but the third time he’s handed out double-digit assists in such games. He also suffered a minor hand injury in the first quarter as he fouled Michael Beasley. It appeared that his fingers bent backwards and caused some discomfort. Early indications suggest that Kidd will be fine.
- Anthony Randolph went off for the Wolves in place of the injured Kevin Love. Randolph, the local product from Woodrow Wilson High came into the game averaging 4.4 points per game this season. He scored 23 points on 10-13 shooting in the first half. Randolph finished the game with a career-high 31 points (previous high was 28) and a season-high 11 rebounds (previous high was 11). He went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Box Score Revelations
- The Mavericks finished the game with 31 assists on 42 made field goals. Jason Kidd had a game-high 13 assists. Dallas has a record of 26-5 when they record at least 25 assists.
- Dallas shot 1-11 from three-point range in the first quarter and finished the game 8-27 from long range. Peja Stojakovic followed up his 5-8 performance against the Golden State Warriors with a 4-8 performance against the Timberwolves. He finished the game with 16 points and has averaged 16.5 points in his last two games.
- Dirk Nowitzki extended his streak of consecutive free throws made to 63 by going 5-5 from the line on Thursday. With the 30-point performance, he now has 16 consecutive games where he has scored at least 20 points. The Mavericks are 8-3 when he scores at least 30 points in a game.
- Dallas’ bench outscored Minnesota’s bench 45-38. The Mavericks’ bench is averaging 39.8 points per game this season. Dallas is now 42-11 when its bench outscores the opposing team’s bench. Coming off the bench, Jason Terry scored 18 points and Peja Stojakovic added 16 points. The Mavericks are 36-6 when at least two reserves score in double figures.
- The Jet was on the runway as Terry scored nine of his 18 points in the final quarter. Coming into Thursday's game, Terry was averaging 6.3 points in the fourth period.
Tweetings From the Mavs Universe
- "Heading to the Mavs game tonight to check out my boy @coreybrewer22. Hey, @mcuban, you gotta hook me up with one of your bobbleheads lol"
@DavidNelson86 (he had a potential double-whammy tonight. Brewer was inactive and no word on his bobblehead)
- "How old is Peja now? 108 or 109? Still has that killer shot."
- "Highly recommend this first half of Mavs-Wolves for all Anthony Randolphiles out there."
- "Can someone put up video of Anthony Randolph's big night when it's over? Even if he ascends to heaven at the end."
- "How is it possible Mavs aren't easily disposing of miserable + Loveless T-Wolves? Need to ramp up/not down 4 playoffs."
If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said
- Rick Carlisle on how feels, "I'm going to remain very positive about these guys. I believe in these guys."
- Rick Carlisle on the identity of the team, "We're a skilled, veteran team that knows how to win."
- Dirk Nowitzki on the Timberlwolves, "Give Minnesota credit, they really made us work, made some shots down the stretch and made us reach deep, but it was a good win and we'll move on."
- Dirk Nowitzki on 11x50, "I’d rather trade it in for a championship. Eleven 50-win seasons don’t mean anything."
- jason Terry on 11x50, "Everyone knows that 50-wins don't get you a championship and that's our ultimate goal."
BG's Baller of the Game:
Baller status has been granted to Dirk Nowitzki. The forward always looks to add new things to his repertoire and it appears that he has put more of an emphasis on using the bank-shot to his advantage. For Nowitzki, the bank will always be open after hours. When you have the one-step fadeaway lead to that bank-shot shot, the shot is impossible to stop. Nowitzki the only player in the NBA to rank in the top 20 in field goal percentage (11th), 3-point percentage (17th) and free throw percentage (tied-ninth). Since 2000-01, only three players have finished the season ranked in the top 20 in all three categories: Steve Nash (three times), Peja Stojakovic, and Sam Cassell. Nowitzki is on pace to post a career-high for field goal percentage in a season and to finish above 50 percent for the second time in his career. Dirk Nowitzki is a shooting machine.
Dallas will now hit the road for their longest road trip of the season (six games) and they will start in Utah. The Mavericks will look to sweep a four-game season series with the Jazz for the first time in franchise history with a win at Utah on Mar. 26. The Mavericks haven’t swept a season series with the Jazz since 2004-05, when they went 3-0 against Utah in the regular season. Dallas has recorded four consecutive wins against Utah just twice in team history (2/2/86-10/31/86 and 4/8/04-4/9/05). Dallas snapped a five-game losing streak in Salt Lake City with a 93-81 win on Dec. 3. The Jazz are now 55-16 all-time against the Mavericks in Utah. Saturday will also be the first night of a back-to-back for the Dallas Mavericks as they will take on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Dallas is 10-6 in the first half of back-to-backs and 12-4 in the second half of back-to-backs. They have recorded seven sweeps and have been swept just one time in a back-to-back this season. The Mavericks have 20 back-to-backs scheduled this year, after they played 20 in 2009-10. Dallas went 15-5 in the first game of a back-to-back and 12-8 in the second game of a back-to-back in 2009-10. The game between the Mavericks and the Jazz on Saturday will tip off at 8:00 pm CST.
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