Ricky Rubio put on quite a display on Wednesday night in Dallas as his Timberwolves outlasted Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks for their 34th win of the season.
The Wolves got going very early in this game. They forced the Mavericks into a lot of early turnovers that led to a lot of easy transition buckets. Corey Brewer scored 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter and the majority of them were run-outs on the break.
Even when the Wolves weren't getting transition baskets, they were running very simple offensive sets that ended in wide open layups at the rim.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was livid in the first half of the game. He burned through 4 of his timeouts in the first thirteen-and-a-half minutes of the game. Apparently, whatever he said in that fourth timeout, his Mavericks took it to heart.
The Mavericks committed to playing at least a little defense and outscored the Wolves 20-35 in the final ten and a half minutes of the first half, capped by a Vince Carter buzzer beater three just prior to halftime.
Things didn't come as easy for the Wolves through the remainder of the game (at least not like they did in the first quarter). They shot over 65% in the first quarter and finished the night shooting just under 48%.
The Mavericks struggled on offense and that was slightly hampered by Monta Ellis. Ellis got into early foul trouble and it plagued him for the majority of the game. Vince Carter also struggled with foul trouble and he picked up his sixth with 2:16 remaining in overtime.
When you couple that with Dirk Nowitzki's 11-for-27 shooting (including 0-for-7 from deep) and it's hard to combat a hungry Wolves team.
The Wolves held a 22-point advantage early in the second quarter, but the Mavericks were able to battle back before halftime and keep this one close for the remainder.
The Mavericks actually took a brief lead late in the fourth quarter thanks to Monta Ellis, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth. He had an and-one and scored three-consecutive triples to give his team a 111-113 lead with 1:25 to play. Rubio's two free throws with 50.1 seconds to play made it 113-all. The two teams exchanged a couple misses to finish regulation and send the game into overtime.
The Mavericks scored the first five points of overtime, but the Wolves fought back with buckets from Brewer & Rubio. Shortly thereafter Vince Carter picked up his sixth foul by fouling Kevin Love attempting a three-pointer. Love made all three free throws and finished with 6 of Minnesota's 10 overtime points including what ended up being the game winner (with four Mavericks defenders surrounding him). Dirk Nowitzki's shot just before the buzzer clanged off the back rim and was rebounded by Brewer, who hit the floor as time expired.
Tonight's box score...
Things I Liked About Tonight's Game...
Things I Didn't Like...
I'm sure there were a few more, but that's all I've got for now. The Wolves will be right back in action tomorrow night in Houston vs. the Howard-less Rockets. Tipoff is set for 7pmCST, enjoy!
Cody D. Anderson
A Wolves fan bringing you Gameday Recaps all season long!