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News » Timberwolves-Mavericks Preview 2009-04-12

Timberwolves-Mavericks Preview 2009-04-12

Timberwolves-Mavericks Preview 2009-04-12
The Dallas Mavericks fell out of a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with a loss in their last outing. They have to feel good about their chances of bouncing back with the Minnesota Timberwolves coming to town.

The Mavericks look to rebound from a loss to a team they're battling for playoff position by notching their 12th straight win over the Timberwolves on Monday night in Dallas.

Though Dallas (48-32) was the last team in the West playoff field to clinch its postseason berth, it can still finish as high as the No. 6 seed.

The Mavericks' chances of doing so, however, took a hit when they fell 102-92 at New Orleans on Sunday. After earning big home wins over Utah and the Hornets in its previous two games, Dallas faded down the stretch Sunday, getting outscored 33-23 in the fourth quarter.

Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 14 rebounds but was held to four points in the final period, and the Hornets outshot the Mavericks 55.6 percent to 42.5 percent overall.

"They started double-teaming me everywhere," Nowitzki said. "We've got to make some shots on the weak side and just 42 percent isn't good enough if we let them shoot 55."

The Mavericks are one game behind the sixth-place Hornets and one ahead of the eighth-place Jazz.

Dallas will try to get back on track by continuing its dominance over Minnesota, as the Mavericks' 11 consecutive wins in the series have come by an average of 12.3 points. They've won six straight over the Wolves (24-56) at home, where they've gone 30-5 since an 0-4 start to the season.

These teams met in Minneapolis two weeks ago, and Nowitzki led Dallas to a 108-88 victory with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Jason Terry added 21 points off the bench as the Mavericks shot 55.4 percent.

The Timberwolves could have a hard time putting up more of a fight this time around if their play in their last game is any indication. They were outscored 31-8 in the first quarter of a 110-97 loss to Phoenix on Saturday night.

"Just a terrible effort from start to finish," coach Kevin McHale said. "Hard to account for it. ... No bright spots. Nothing."

Minnesota had won four of its previous six but didn't look like a team determined to finish strong.

"It was real disappointing," rookie forward Kevin Love said. "We didn't show any energy, myself included. It was just one of those nights where nothing goes the right way, but we didn't make it go the right way for us."

Love may be assigned the difficult task of trying to contain Nowitzki on Monday. Nowitzki is averaging 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 51.9 percent from the field against Minnesota this season.

Terry has scored 23.0 points per game versus the Wolves in 2008-09, shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) from 3-point range.

The Mavericks finish the regular season with a home game against Houston on Wednesday. The Timberwolves close at home versus Sacramento that night.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 12, 2009


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