The Timberwolves had an awful and lifeless four quarters tonight. They were able to get within a few points more than once--but that was quickly followed by a BIG run by the Mavs led by the "Dirk of Old"--clearly returning to form as he plastered 33pts on Minnesota tonight!
The Wolves' backcourt again came into to question as Vince Carter just destroyed Luke Ridnour in the first quarter...we'll get to that in a second though.
It's games like tonight that you realize a few things: We need a starting shooting guard, Beasley should be starting over Wes, Wes should be playing a few games in the D-League...
I took notes during the game and I decided I would write a different kind of recap tonight. I'm not sure it'll be something we do every game, but it's more fun than the same old routine recap game after game after game. So, hope you enjoy....
Jason Kidd was in the starting lineup after missing about a week or so with a calf injury. Darko is still out with a sprained ankle (did have 7blks the last time these two played 1/25). The Mavericks started Kidd, Carter, Marion, Nowitzki & Haywood. The Wolves countered with Rubio, Ridnour, Johnson, Love & Pekovic. Clearly we see trouble brewing in that backcourt mismatch already...
Timberwolves are wearing their Minnesota Muskies jerseys again...obviously not kind to the Wolves as they're now 0-2 this season.
Luke Ridnour starts off guarding Vince Carter. Dallas had no trouble taking advantage, VC took it at him and Ridnour got two quick fouls. The Wolves then went to a zone. Dallas missed their next two shots...and then hit their next three of four.
The Timberwolves COULD NOT score. Mavericks jump out to an early 20-6 lead with four minutes to go in the first quarter. Pek had six of the TWolves' first eight points.
A quick stat: the TWolves have won three games this season after trailing by 10+ points at some point in the game.
Pek started the game 3/4 from the field. The rest of the team started 1/10. Dallas up 20-8 with 7:50 left in the 1st quarter.
The Timberwolves finish the half with 7 turnovers which led to 12 Dallas points! The Wolves also shot 33% (6-18) compared to the Mavs' 48% (11-23).
AFTER ONE: 29-16 Dallas
Minnesota playing a bit better. Limiting turnovers, scoring some--but still not defending the Mavericks well--way too many fast break hoops.
Four players account for all of Minnesota's 29pts. Love (9), Pek (8), Beas (7), Webster (5)--before two free throws from Barea with 7 minutes left in the half.
I've counted at least 6 or 7 fast break--almost "cherry-pickin'" buckets for the Mavericks. 2 or 3 passes have sailed out-of-bounds though too. Always one Mav, streaking downcourt for easy lay-ins off the insane number of Wolves TOs!
Read on Twitter: "J.J. knows he's not playing for Dallas anymore, right?"--very casual and careless with the ball--like most of the Wolves players tonight!
Watching the broadcast on FSN. Jim Peterson pretty much sums up the game: "When it rains it pours!"--Absolutely NOTHING going right for the T-Pups!
Sloppy, Ugly Basketball tonight! Inbound play with four seconds to go is nearly stolen, but tipped out of bounds. MIN takes a timeout--their play out of the timeout? Rubio gets trapped passes to Barea who's blocked by VC...I doubt that was the play coming out of the timeout. Awful execution (the story of the night!)
Clearly the Mavs have no intention of being swept by the TWolves this season. Wolves not playing like they want it...Mavs are--ultimately the difference!
Love at halftime: "...we need to come out with more energy in the second half..."--no kidding!
AT HALFTIME: Dallas up 56-45. TWolves lucky to be within 11pts they way they've been playing tonight.
KEY STATS: 14 MIN turnovers in the first half, leading to 18 Mavericks points! TWolves also shot just 1-10 in the first half (0-6 in the second quarter).
MIN: Love w/17pts, 4rebs, 4-10 FG, 9-9 FT in 20 min. Pek w/8pts, 2rebs, 1blk, 4-7 FG in 13 min.
DAL: Dirk w/16pts, 2rebs, 3ast, 1blk, 5-7 FG, 3-4 3PT, 3-3 FT in 16 min.
These first few possessions/minutes will be VERY important for Minnesota to set a tone for the entire quarter.
TWolves come out quick. Love scores two quick buckets to make it 56-49 with 11 minutes to go in the quarter.
SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Dallas goes right back to that Vince Carter/Luke Ridnour mismatch. Wes fouls VC from behind--sends him to the line for two.
There's a VERY GOOD physical battle down low between two bruisers: Pek & Haywood.
Wolves open quarter on an 8-2 run. Makes it 58-53 with 9 minutes to go!!
Dirk quickly heats up and answers with two quick baskets. Now with 20pts. Fuels a Mavericks 9-0 run to make it 67-53. Dirk scores 7 of those 9!
TWolves have the lead cut to just 5pts--now Dallas up 17! 71-54. Debating switching to the Lakers-Knicks game...
LOVE HURT?! Turns out he just hit his funnybone is all. Seemed awful dramatic for only hitting your funnybone...
Consecutive corner threes from Beas cuts it to 75-62 with two minutes to go in the third. TWolves with a lineup of Rubio, Barea, Beas, D-Will & Love on the floor--trying to rally back.
A 9-0 run by the Wolves including 4 of 4 made free throws from Rubio during that stretch makes it 68-75 with 55 seconds to go.
Mismatch on a switch. D. West goes right around Love for a reverse layup. Love responds at the other end with an AND ONE, three-point play!
Quarter ends on a VICIOUS TIP-SLAM from Derrick Williams who seemingly comes out of nowhere! Cuts the Mavericks lead to 5; 78-73!
END of THIRD: 78-73 Dallas leads.
KEY STATS: The Mavericks have forced the Wolves into 19 turnovers. They also have 11 steals. The TWolves have also forced the Mavs into 14 turnovers--though they aren't scoring off them like the Mavericks. The TWolves are also shooting 22-for-25 from the free-throw line--probably what's keeping them in this ball-game!
Quarter begins with back-and-forth misses for both teams, before a big POWER move by Pek over Dirk cuts the lead to just 3pts; 78-75. Minnesota on a 17-4 run!
Three BIG hoops from the JET (Jason Terry) puts the Mavericks up 87-77 with 8:16 to go in the game. Everytime we make a push the Mavericks answer back with no problem! Don't see us coming back if that continues to be the case...
Minnesota was within just 3pts early in the quarter, now an 11-1 run by the Mavs makes it 95-82...
CLEARLY THE STORY OF THE NIGHT=TURNOVERS & POINTS OFF TURNOVERS! Stupid, careless basketball. Apparently the TWolves came in thinking: "We've already beat these guys twice, tonight's a cake-walk!" VERY frustrating game...
Encouraging stat: The Mavericks are 7-1 when they score 100+ points. They now have 104 and lead by 14.
TWolves take out Rubio & Love. This one's in the books. In come Ellington & Tolliver who haven't played all night. They go along with Ridnour, Beasley & D-Will.
The Wolves just committed their season-high turnover! This is not fun basketball to watch.
Bright Spot?: Beasley still fighting. Scores a mid-range jumper, fights for a rebound underneath on another play and gets the putback. The next possession he nails a three. Is he looking for the win--or is he padding his stats?... Doesn't matter--he seems to be the only TWolf hustling right now.
TWolves lose: 104-97. Season series finishes at 2-1 for the Wolves & Mavs. Mavericks have now won 19 of the last 22 meetings!
The Timberwolves move below .500 again, now 13-14.
The Wolves' 28 turnovers is not only a season-high for the Wolves, but also a League-high. They also allowed 31 points off those TOs...The Mavericks finished with 16 steals as well as 17 fast break points.
Love finishes with 32pts, 12rebs, 3ast, on 50% shooting (9-18) FG as well as a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line. Pek adds 12pts, 7rebs, on an uncharacteristic 6-of-14 shooting. Beasley adds 20pts, 4rebs, 1stl on 8-of-11 shooting off the bench in 29 minutes.
Dirk finishes with 33pts, 4rebs, 3ast, 1stl, 3blks on 11-of-19 shooting (FG) in 35 minutes. Carter adds 12pts & 5stls. Terry finishes with 16pts, 3rebs, 5ast, 2stls in 33 minutes off the bench.
That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed the different format. It's kind of a game journal. Good for those who didn't watch the game. If you didn't and you read HOWL, you know we like to try a variety of different recaps--rather than a boring routine format. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section or via Twitter @HOWL_MnTWolves. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!