The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night, losing 111-105. The Mavericks were shorthanded and it showed. The Timberwolves won a sloppy game by putting enough stops together to pull ahead in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Mavericks by eight in the final period.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scorers with 28 points. Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in 23 points as well. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 24 points, while D’Angelo Russell had 22.
Here are three numbers to know about the loss:
19: The number by which the Timberwolves’ bench outscored the Mavericks’ bench.
The Mavericks’ bench was always going to be thin since so many players were out. But it would have been nice to have that margin trimmed a bit. Maxi Kleber led the Dallas bench with six points. Someone has to be better than that. At least a couple times a week someone on an opponents’ bench has a big night. Usually that’s Jalen Brunson for the Mavericks, but he was thrust into the starting lineup tonight.
It’s not too much to ask Trey Burke or Sterling Brown to score ten points. They were brought in to hit threes and score a little. Burke has done it occasionally. Brown hasn’t yet.
19: The number of points off turnovers by the Timberwolves.
In the preview for this game I mentioned the Mavericks would have to contain the Timberwolves’ points off turnovers. Minnesota leads the league in the stat. Dallas actually did a fair job on this end, turning the ball over only 12 times. But the Timberwolves still outscored them by eight points on turnovers. The margin of defeat was six. You do the math.
9.1%: The Mavericks 3-point shooting percentage in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks went 1-of-11 behind the arc in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves went 4-of-7. Do the math. The Timberwolves outscored the Mavericks 12-3 on 3-point shots. They edged the Mavericks by eight points in the fourth quarter. They won the game by six. We’ve seen this time and time again. Something has to change.
The Mavericks are beyond the point where “the shots will start falling.” They will not. The roster is broken and the coaching staff isn’t helping the poor to mediocre shooters get easy shots closer to the basket. Until something changes, expect more games like this, with the occasional hot shooting night sprinkled in from time to time.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.