Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Monday, November 22nd
Game 2: Tuesday, December 7th
Game 3: Sunday, March 13th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 15th

Mavericks 97

(13-7, 6-3 away)

Timberwolves 87

(11-6, 4-3 home)

Coverage: FSSW

7:00 PM ET, December 7, 2004

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 28 22 21 2697
MIN 28 18 18 2387

Top Performers

Dal: D. Nowitzki 34 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Min: K. Garnett 32 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Nowitzki scores 23 of his 34 in second half

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki made half of his shots Tuesday night, and it seemed like the other half landed in the hands of his hustling teammates.

Nowitzki scored 34 points, including 23 in the second half, and Dallas had a season-high 24 offensive rebounds in a 97-87 victory over Minnesota that snapped the Timberwolves' five-game winning streak.

"We knew we had to step it up defensively and the biggest key was our rebounding," said Nowitzki, who was 13-for-26 from the field.

"I wish I could sugarcoat it, but we got pummeled tonight," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.

Josh Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who overcame the early ejection of coach Don Nelson and outrebounded Minnesota 54-35 to win for the third time in four games.

"The guys were aggressive, that's pretty much the answer," Howard said. "Every guy stayed with it the whole game."

Nelson wasn't around to see it, but his players outworked Minnesota for nearly every loose ball. Nelson was ejected by referee Joey Crawford just 93 seconds into the game.

He got his first technical for questioning an offensive foul on Darrell Armstrong and immediately yelled back at Crawford, who quickly added the second technical. Afterward, Nelson admitted to his transgression.

"Oh, I cursed him," he said.

Kevin Garnett had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for Minnesota, which was playing without starter Latrell Sprewell. Sprewell was suspended for one game by the NBA for yelling a sexual vulgarity at a fan in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

"Spree's like the life of this team, he's that surge, that energy," Garnett said. "We missed all that tonight."

Wally Szczerbiak had 18 points and Eddie Griffin 14 for the Wolves, but Sam Cassell was held scoreless in the second half.

The Mavericks led 71-64 after three quarters, and the Wolves could not get closer than five points the rest of the way. When Nowitzki converted a three-point play with 5:06 left, Dallas had its biggest lead of the game, 88-75.

"I wasn't missing a lot in warmups and that gave me confidence," said Nowitzki, who entered the game as the NBA's leading scorer. "I had a good feeling about the whole game."

Garnett scored the first four points of the second half to make it 50-50 before the Mavericks answered with a 17-7 run. Nowitzki had 10 points, and when converted a dunk into a three-point play with 3:03 left, Dallas had its first double-digit lead, 67-57.

Minnesota cut the deficit, but still trailed 71-64 heading into the fourth.

The scored was tied 28-all when the Mavericks started the second quarter with a 16-7 run. With 4:34 left in the half, Dallas led 44-35 and held a 31-11 rebounding advantage.

Szczerbiak scored nine of the next 11 points for Minnesota, which trailed 50-46 at halftime.

The Mavericks improved to 9-0 when Nowitzki scores at least 30 points.

Game notes

The 54 rebounds and 24 offensive rebounds by Dallas, were both highs against Minnesota this season. ... Crawford gave Wolves coach Flip Saunders a technical for arguing with 9:19 left in the second quarter. ... Nowitzki missed the Nov. 22 game with a sprained left ankle when the Timberwolves won 83-82. ... Dallas evened the all-time series 34-34.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 87
FGM-FGA 35-90 (.389) 34-77 (.442)
3PM-3PA 6-20 (.300) 6-13 (.462)
FTM-FTA 21-26 (.808) 13-14 (.929)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 24-54 8-35
Assists 18 23
Turnovers 12 15
Steals 6 6
Blocks 5 4
Fast Break Points 8 8
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (2/0) 25 (1/0)
Largest Lead 13 7

Top Performers

Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 34
Reb: 7
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 32
Reb: 12
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 1