Whether playoff challenger or spoiler, the Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday for the third time in their four-game season series this season with Wednesday’s 123-122 overtime thriller at American Airlines Center. Wolves star Kevin Love’s shot with 17 seconds left put the visitors ahead for good and Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki missed the potential game-winner just before the final buzzer on a night when he went 11-for-27 from the field. The Wolves led by 22 points in the second quarter but gave it all away before prevailing on a night when Ricky Rubio delivered his third career triple-double with a 22-point, 15-assist, 10-rebound night. Love’s manufactured shot that got a couple Mavericks in the air before he made it gave his team a 123-122 lead with 17.1 seconds left Mavericks veteran Monta Ellis made three threes in the final 3:16 to bring the Mavericks back from 12 points behind late to force overtime after he had not made one three-pointer all night until then. Dallas then scored the first five points and seven of the first nine points in overtime and led 120-115 with fewer than three minutes left. The Mavericks still led by three when Love pump-faked Dallas veteran Shawn Marion into the air from beyond the three-point line. When Marion came down, Love went up, drawing the foul that both sent him to the line for three free throws and knocked Marion out of the game with his sixth foul with 2:16 left. Love made all three free throws to tie the game at 120. He made one of two free throws to give the Wolves a 121-120 lead with 1:51 left, but Nowitzki finally answered nearly 90 seconds later when he made a spinning, fall-away shot over Love to give the Mavericks a 122-121 lead with 33.1 seconds left. Love led the Wolves with 35 points and 8 rebounds and Nowitzki scored 27 and Ellis 22 for Dallas. The Wolves led by as many as 22 points in the second quarter and nearly allowed all of that lead to slip away when Dallas pulled within two points once and three points twice in the third quarter. But each time the Wolves pushed back, building their lead back to as much as 109-97 with as little as 4:54 thanks in part to Hummel’s consecutive three pointers. But the Mavericks scored the next nine points unanswered to get within 109-107 with 3:16 left.
Love, Rubio lead Wolves to 123-122 OT win in Dallas
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Mar 20