By: Mark Lane (@therealmarklane)
MINNEAPOLIS — The Dallas Mavericks lost their third straight game as the Minnesota Timberwolves dispatched them 101-92 Monday night at the Target Center.
Karl-Anthony Towns had a double-double as he scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Minnesota.
“We were never able to control Towns, obviously,” Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “He got too deep some; just never really had an answer for him.”
Ricky Rubio also had a double-double for the Timberwolves as he scored 13 points and had 15 assists on the evening, a season-high.
The Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes had a 30-point night and Dirk Nowitzki was four points shy of the 30-point mark as he hit five 3-pointers on the night.
“You got down, you battled back, you got an opportunity to kind of get on top, and you fall back into the same routine,” Barnes said in comparing Monday’s game with Saturday night’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Towns hit 15-of-19 from field goal range as Minnesota shot 56.3 from the floor.
“I guess it was my lucky day,” said Towns. “I just found good ways to find ways that they couldn’t double-team me in spots where it was very difficult to double-team me.”
Nowitzki, whose minutes have been steadily increasing over the three-game stretch, played 30-plus minutes in a game for the first time in 2016-17 after missing 25 games with a host of injuries, including a right Achilles.
Said Nowitzki: “It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a lot better than I was a week ago. Just got to keep working, got to be a little better on both ends and help the fellas.”
The Mavericks travel to Mexico City on Thursday to take on the Phoenix Suns in the first NBA regular season game played in Mexico. The Timberwolves stay at home with a Wednesday night affair with the Houston Rockets.