After historic offensive showing, T-wolves host Mavs
The Minnesota Timberwolves will try to follow up their best offensive night in franchise history when they face the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night in Minneapolis in the first of consecutive games between the teams.
The Timberwolves set franchise marks of 150 points and 57 field goals during Sunday’s rout of the visiting Chicago Bulls. Minnesota made 65.5 percent of its field-goal attempts and knocked down a season-best 23 3-pointers out of 43 attempts.
Anthony Edwards led the assault with a season-best 37 points and career-high 11 assists in the 150-126 trouncing of the Bulls.
“It’s a night where you make two out of every three shots, you’re going to score a lot of points, particularly if a lot of them are 3s,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said afterward. “I’ve just been really pleased with the quality of shots we’ve been able to generate over the last few games. That sparks a rhythm, and guys can feel where the shot might come from and they can shoot with a lot of confidence.”
Minnesota will try to keep the offense moving against a Dallas squad that has lost four of its past six games. The Mavericks are awaiting word on whether Luka Doncic, the NBA’s second-leading scorer at 33 points per game, will be available.
Doncic (quadriceps injury) is questionable after missing Saturday’s 100-99 overtime loss to the host Cleveland Cavaliers. Kemba Walker took advantage of Doncic’s absence to score 32 points.
Dallas and Minnesota also will play Wednesday night in Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, the scoring splurge by the Timberwolves came two games after they staggered to a season-low total in a 99-88 road loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.
But on Sunday, everybody who fired away was seeing the ball go through the net. That includes D’Angelo Russell, who scored 28 points after missing the previous two games with a knee injury.
“Confidence, right approach, seeing familiarity with our rotation and some things like that,” Russell said of the success. “That just allows you to be confident and comfortable out there. Coach is allowing us to make things happen, trust in our group. It just gives you that energy and confidence that you want to have.”
Russell has topped 20 points in each of his last six appearances.
Minnesota could be without Rudy Gobert (ankle injury) for the third straight game. Fellow big man Naz Reid left Sunday’s game with an injured trapezius muscle.
If Doncic is unable to play, Walker could be in line for another huge dose of playing time for the Mavericks, who are ailing in the backcourt.
Spencer Dinwiddie (knee) is expected to be available, but Tim Hardaway Jr. (non-COVID illness) is questionable and Josh Green (elbow) will miss the contest.
Walker played 42 minutes against Cleveland in just his third game for Dallas. He added seven assists, five rebounds and made four 3-pointers in the opener of a four-game trip.
“I thought Kemba did an incredible job of running the offense, getting guys involved and putting pressure on their defense,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “Also, just being able to play off of that from jump ball and trusting him.”
The four-time All-Star said he plans to build off the strong effort. But his competitiveness left him disappointed due to the close loss.
“It was a tough one,” Walker said. “We put ourselves in position to win the game — we just came up short. We don’t want to have any moral victories. We played well, we played together. It was a great effort.”
Christian Wood also excelled with 26 points and 14 rebounds, but he missed a long 3-pointer as time expired for the Mavericks.
The teams split four meetings last season, with the home team winning each time.
–Field Level Media