EditorsNote: adds city in lede; adds Doncic’s assist total in second graf; fixes to “14” in eighth graf
Rookie sensation Luka Doncic drained the game-winning 3-pointer, scored a team-high 29 points and finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a rare road win, 119-115 on Friday over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
Doncic, the second-leading All-Star vote-getter in the Western Conference so far, went toe to toe with the Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished with a game-high 30 points plus 11 rebounds and four blocks. Doncic had 12 assists.
Doncic’s game-winner, shot over Towns’ outstretched arm, swished through with 22.9 seconds left for a 117-115 lead. It came just seconds after he threw away an inbounds pass with Minnesota leading 115-114. However, the Wolves gave it right back to set up the 19-year-old’s heroics.
With one possession left to tie or take the lead, Wolves forward Dario Saric, 0-for-5 from the floor, passed up an open 3-pointer. He threw that ball to Derrick Rose, who drove, but his pass was tipped. A scramble ensued, and Towns was whistled for a foul, sending Harrison Barnes to the free throw.
Barnes put the game away by sinking two free throws.
Minnesota’s newfound good vibes following the firing of coach Tom Thibodeau and a subsequent three-game win streak came to a screeching halt against the league’s worst road team. Dallas improved to 4-18 on the road but is 2-0 against the Wolves this season.
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, coming off a 40-point performance, finished with 17 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Josh Okogie scored 15 points, and Rose had 21 off the bench.
Dallas led by as many as 14 late in the second quarter and 61-50 at halftime. Then came a wild, back-and-forth third quarter. The Wolves used a 13-0 run to tie the score at 63-63, then Dallas went on a 12-2 run, followed by an 8-0 Wolves run. The Mavericks scored the next six points for an 85-78 lead after three.
The Mavs built a 102-92 lead with 6:28 left in the fourth before a 15-5 Wolves burst tied the game. Minnesota led by one point three times in the final minute but couldn’t finish the job.
Barnes contributed 23 points and J.J. Barea had 16 points and seven assists for Dallas before leaving in the fourth quarter due to an injured right ankle. Dwight Powell had 15 points off the bench, Maxi Kleber scored 13, and rookie Jalen Brunson had nine points, all on 3-pointers.
—Field Level Media