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Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Preview: 3 things to watch as Dallas takes on Minnesota

Dallas has a quick chance to wash the taste of a bad loss out of their mouths

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

Fresh off a brutal, late game against the Cavaliers, Dallas hits the road to take on the West-leading Minnesota Timberwolves looking for redemption. The two teams faced off just a few weeks ago with Minnesota closing strong to earn a convincing 18-point victory, but now a newly healthy and gelling Mavs’ team gets another shot at the crown.

It’ll be Dallas’ seventh back-to-back this season, but they’ve fared surprisingly well in such matchups, posting a 4-2 record. They’ll need to muster up some energy reserves to have a shot at taking down Anthony Edwards and company.

Finder’s Three-pers

Dallas wins with offense. Their team defense and the individual defense of Luka Doncic have been coming along recently as rookie Dereck Lively has been a much-needed defensive anchor. Still, Dallas needs to score points – a lot of them – to win with consistency.

Against the Cavs, they built a 20-point lead that they watched slowly shrink away as they hit a five-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter that featured a stretch of 14 missed three-pointers. The team as a whole has been in a funk shooting recently. Their 10-of-37 night against the Cavs fit into the team’s current trend beyond the arc.

Seth Curry showed some scoring punch and broke the team’s aforementioned three-pointer drought. He’s been earning some playing time over Jaden Hardy in Kidd’s rotation, so maybe some fresh legs and knock-down shooting can inspire the rest of the team to shake off the rust.

Kat-less

Players have slowly trickled back into the Mavericks’ game-day roster as their health improves. Kyrie Irving is getting closer, taking part in pre-game shooting drills, but will likely remain out.

On the other side, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Townes has been dealing with a foot injury of his own. He played in a loss against the Thunder on Tuesday after missing the game prior and is now questionable to suit up against the Mavs.

In the event the TWolves are without KAT, their second-leading scorer, the defensive game plan becomes at least a bit clearer; stop Ant. And hope that Naz Reid doesn’t turn into a human flamethrower as he did in these two squad’s last outing in which he went 7-of-11 from deep in route to a team-leading 27 points.

Crafty hands

In a perfect world, the Mavericks will simply not miss a single shot. Easy as. Still, always good to have a plan B.

In their two recent losses, Minnesota has fallen victim to some ball insecurity. They coughed up 19 turnovers in a loss to the 76ers, and a whopping 24 when they fell to OKC.

With their offense stuck in the mud, Dallas would do well to generate as many easy scoring chances as possible. To that end, Luka Doncic is on quite a roll. He’s notched steals in four straight games, and the last two have been multi-steal, multi-block games.

Anthony Edwards may help out in that regard, as his turnovers have ticked up in his last handful of games (five, five, and three in his last three games respectfully). With any luck, that will continue and Dallas can execute with their additional possessions.

How to watch

You can broadcast or stream the game on Bally Sports at 7:00 CST.