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Mavericks vs Timberwolves Final Score: Dallas defeats Minnesota, 115-108

Dallas has their biggest signature win of the 2023-2024 season

Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves at home Sunday night, winning 115-108. Kyrie Irving led the Mavericks with a sublime effort, scoring in 35 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and five assists to go along with three steals and a pair of blocks. Luka Doncic also chipped in 34 points. Anthony Edwards scored 36 in defeat for the Wolves.

Patient offense was the key for both teams to start the contest; longer possessions with multiple passes and tough shot-making resulted in a tight game early. Kyrie Irving in particular put on another offensive show, connecting on a great three and two tough shots inside the line. The Mavericks took repeated leads on the Wolves only for Minnesota to settle and work right back into the game. Rudy Gobert was an early problem, grabbing offensive rebounds and earning the Wolves extra possessions. After one quarter the Mavericks led, 30-29.

The game became a bit of an offensive slog, with the Timberwolves getting into early foul trouble. A few nifty offensive plays paired with free throws gave Dallas an eight-point lead. Karl Anthony-Towns led an offensive comeback from Minnesota and a Mike Conley three cut it to one. The teams exchanged baskets down the stretch of the half, but the Mavericks simply would not give up the lead. A late Grant Williams lay in helped Dallas retain a 60-56 lead going into the half.

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The size and relentlessness of Minnesota eventually paid off to start the third, with Dallas finally giving up the lead on a 50-50 loose ball that ended up in the hands of Anthony Edwards. Gobert picked up his fourth foul soon after, which would be something to monitor for the remainder of the game. But the Mavericks had a hard time capitalizing on the various Wolves miscues. Dallas held a lead in the four to six-point range but couldn’t extend it further. But a late Tim Hardaway three and Luka Doncic lay-up finally gave the Mavericks some cushion. The Mavericks took a 91-82 lead into the final frame.

Despite the cushion, offense felt hard to come by for the Mavericks and the Wolves slowly chipped away at the Dallas lead. Missed open shots for Dallas gave Minnesota repeated chances they cut the lead to two at the six-minute mark following made threes by Towns and Edwards. The Wolves continued scoring, extending the run to 11-0 and a 106-100 lead before Dallas finally broke the seal with a Dwight Powell and-one off a Doncic laser pass. Kyrie tied the game at 106 all with a massive three following multiple stoppages in play as a result of “use them or lose them” timeouts for both coaches. The Mavericks retook the lead on another Kyrie Irving three with just over two minutes left. Derrick Jones helped seal the game with a driving dunk off a Luka double-team with 24 seconds left. After a free throw shooting contest, Dallas walked away with their biggest win of the season, defeating the Timberwolves, 115-108.

Now, some more stuff...

That is why you trade for Kyrie Irving

Watching Kyrie Irving on a night-to-night basis is quite something. For a player of his physical stature, that he’s playing in his 13th season at all is impressive, that he’s able to play well is really impressive. Expecting otherworldly play out of Irving every game isn’t realistic, but when he pops, like he did tonight against the Timberwolves, it’s a basketball religious experience. The Timberwolves are a fantastic defense and Irving would not be denied on the offensive end. Beyond that, though, was his defensive contribution. Five stocks (steals plus blocks) is absurd and that doesn’t add in his eight rebounds.

In a game where Dallas needed Irving to be the guy, he stepped up in the biggest way possible.

The Dallas Mavericks allowed just FIVE points in the final five minutes of regulation

After taking a nine-point lead to end the third, Dallas allowed the Timberwolves to pour in 19 points in the opening half of the fourth quarter, which included taking the lead from the Mavericks. However, the final five minutes of regulation were something to behold for the Mavericks defensively. Towns scored an and-one basket to give the Wolves a four-point lead at the 4:55 mark, then Edwards connected on a jumper to extend the lead to six with 3:30 remaining. They would not score a meaningful basket again in the game. Dallas controlled the glass as the Wolves attempted repeated kill shots from beyond the arc. It was an impressive performance for a size-deficient team that had been eaten up on the glass to that point in the game.

Attacking the rim was the offensive key to the game

Getting Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards, and Karl Anthony-Towns into foul trouble at one point or another was key to the Dallas Maverick game plan. It threw off the Wolves rotations just-so and they could not execute on offense without Edwards. Defensively, it resulted in some Dallas rim runs that might not have happened against the heralded Minnesota defense. This was a brilliantly executed game plan and it allowed the Mavericks to survive some odd shooting performances from role players.

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