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News » Winning always looks good Mavs not at their best, but an 'ugly' victory over Wolves will do

Winning always looks good Mavs not at their best, but an 'ugly' victory over Wolves will do

Winning always looks good Mavs not at their best, but an 'ugly' victory over Wolves will do MINNEAPOLIS - The Mavericks may need to update their dictionary.

"Winning ugly" has long been a disparaging term to them.

Now, ugly is the new, hot trend. Before long, the Mavericks might even learn to love it.

After pounding the Timberwolves all night at Target Center, then settling for an 89-77 victory that was only that close because of garbage time, many Mavericks talked about what a skunky win it was.

But really, is there any other way to describe it when you hold an opponent to 77 points and 32.6 percent shooting.

After a disappointing loss in San Antonio on Wednesday, this one was a thing of beauty. And the Mavericks gave another sign of their growth defensively - that they can actually feel as good about winning this way as winning with a 60 percent shooting night.

"No question,'' Jason Terry said. "It's a great feeling, and it's something we're trying to get accustomed to. It's going to take a minute.''

With 12 blocked shots helping its cause, Dallas built a double-figure lead in the second quarter and stretched it to 19 after the third when Dirk Nowitzki perked up. The Wolves made the wrong move by getting Nowitzki riled up with some physical play by former Mavs reserve Ryan Hollins.

Nowitzki responded with 15 of his 20 points in the period, and the deep reserves took it home from there.

"Hollins plays hard,'' Nowitzki said. "He elbows a lot. And I just felt at some point it was enough, and we got into it a little bit. He's a good guy, he's just a little wild out there.''

Nowitzki and Hollins both got technical fouls with 7:48 left in the third quarter. Nowitzki hit five of his seven shots after that, and the Mavericks cruised by a Minnesota team that was missing its two best players - Al Jefferson and Kevin Love - and fell to 1-9.

There may be a day when the Minnesota Timberwolves are healthy and dangerous. Friday definitely was not that day.

"We didn't play well at all, and we still found a way to win,'' Jason Kidd said. "It's good to get back on the winning ways after a disappointing loss in San Antonio. We got some stops even though in the first half we couldn't make a play or hit a shot.''

And so, the Mavericks now hope to focus on bigger things.

"Now is the time to string together some games,'' Terry said. "We got to take care of business in Detroit [on Sunday]. It feels better when you string them together eight or nine in a row.''

Thomas getting closer: Tim Thomas is going through his training camp and is tentatively targeting Wednesday's home game against San Antonio for his return.

Thomas had right knee surgery in late September and began practicing two weeks ago.

"I'm still weak in certain areas,'' Thomas said of his knee. "But that will come around. Right now, my main concern is to try to get a little more familiar with the sets and get my timing right.''

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Added: November 16, 2009


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