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3 things as the Mavericks fall to the Timberwolves 111-87

The Mavericks ruin everyone’s Friday night and lose. Again.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (2-14) fell the the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-5) at home in a miserable effort from the good guys.

The Mavericks played excellent basketball in the first quarter as they outscored the Timberwolves 29-24. Minnesota’s defense was suspect as Dallas scored 16 points in the paint. The Mavericks took care of the ball not committing a turnover in the first frame and were led by Harrison Barnes who had eight points and four rebounds.

The Mavericks stretched their lead to as many as 14 points in the second quarter while the Timberwolves struggled to score especially from deep. Minnesota shot 32 percent in the second half as Dallas pushed the lead to 55-43 after two quarters. Dirk started to look like his old self with nine points and six boards. He was a team high plus-15 through one half.

The game flipped on it’s head in the third quarter as the Timberwolves went on a 27-8 run to open the frame. It took Minnesota about a half to get their legs under them and start playing like the superior team. Dallas made a few timely plays, hitting a few shots and making a few stops salvaging what was otherwise a disastrous quarter as the Wolves took a 74-72 lead into the fourth.

Building off a strong third quarter, Minnesota put their foot on gas in the fourth. Like the previous quarter, the Timberwolves opened the frame on a 26-8 run. The second half was all Minnesota as they cruised to an easy road win. On the night Minnesota shot

Dirk looking like himself

It’s almost as if the basketball gods grace Dirk with a good performance on nights he adds to his record book as Dirk passed Hakeem Olajuwan for eighth all time in made field goals tonight. In 24 minutes Dirk was 6-of-12 from the field scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Dirk’s 15 points were the second most he’s scored in a game this season. Hopefully, the Big German is starting to work his way into a groove. There hasn’t been much to root for this season, but seeing Dirk find a rhythm and inch closer to passing Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list will be fun to watch in an otherwise dreadful season.

Wesley Matthews struggles

Welsey Matthews is in a bit of a slump, and tonight continued that trend of poor play. In his last four games, Matthews is a combined 10-of-44 from the field and 5-of-26 from behind the arc. The eight year veteran was a non-factor tonight as the Mavericks fell apart down the stretch.

So far this season it’s more of the same from Matthews. Some nights he’s efficient, rebounding the ball and even setting teammates up, and other nights, like tonight, buckets are few and far between. Maybe the return of Seth Curry will open up the floor a bit more for Matthews to find his groove, but at this point, I’m not counting on it.

Second half disappearing act

This game was a lot of fun during the first half. Dallas was hitting shots, sharing the ball and playing good, team basketball. But boy, oh boy, did the Mavs look like the 2-14 team that they are in the second half. The Timberwolves outscored the Mavericks 68-32 in the final two quarters. Dallas had not played since Tuesday, so fatigue was not a factor. The Mavs simply disappeared after the break and consequently dropped their 14th game of the season.

Other game notes

  • After a good performance against the Spurs, Maxi Kleber was rewarded by being inserted into the starting lineup. He responded by missing every shot and grabbing only three rebounds in 27 minutes. Matching up with Karl-Anthony Towns is a tough task for every player in the league, but Kleber didn’t do much in extended minutes.
  • Salah Mejri, on the other hand, had six points, six boards and two blocks in 17 minutes of play. Mejri is great for the role he plays. He provides high energy and attitude in limited minutes. He’s not built nor skilled enough to play 25-30 minutes per game, but he continues to play his role when his number is called.
  • Yogi Ferrell is flying under the radar this season. He’s averaging 10 points and shooting 39 percent from deep. Tonight, Ferrell did just that. In 22 minutes, the second year guard scored 10 points and canned 2-of-4 attempts from deep. He failed to tally an assist tonight, and on the year, he’s only averaging two per game. But he’s doing a fine job playing off the ball and is building off an impressive rookie year.