Preview: Dallas At Minnesota
When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Dallas Mavericks are hoping to get off to a better start when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. The Mavericks trailed by as much as 17 points in the first half on Friday in Milwaukee and came all the way back to take a brief lead before falling 96-95.
Dallas could have been shaking off the rust in that first half on Saturday after sitting four starters in a 100-91 win at New Orleans on Wednesday, and there was plenty of rust to go around as three starters failed to score in double figures. Point guard Deron Williams, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer earned the Mavericks a win over Sacramento on Tuesday, had the most difficult time finding a rhythm and ended up with five points in 24 minutes. Williams should have an easier time finding his way to the basket against the Timberwolves, who have dropped five straight and were crushed 125-99 at home by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. The setback dropped Minnesota to 5-15 at home, and they have lost the first two of a four-game homestand.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (21-16): Dallas committed 10 of its 16 turnovers in the first half on Friday to let the Bucks race out to a 16-point lead at the break. “One of the first things we talked about in this game is we’ve got to not turn the ball over,” reserve guard Devin Harris told reporters. “We did a poor job of that in the first half. They’re a team that really thrives off that, getting in transition. Being as athletic as they are, they scored a ton of points in the first half.” The Mavericks dropped to 10-10 on the road with that loss and will make trips to Oklahoma City, Chicago and San Antonio among the next five games, with the lone home date in that span against Cleveland.
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (12-25): Minnesota was 8-8 after a win over Sacramento on Nov. 27 but has since dropped 17 of its last 21 games. The positive to come out of Friday’s loss was the improvement of rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns, who emerged from a three-game slump to score 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting, and second-year guard Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year scored a career-high 35 points against the Cavaliers after slumping to 11 on 4-of-14 shooting in a 78-74 loss to Denver on Wednesday.
1. Minnesota G Zach LaVine is 9-of-42 from the field in the last six contests.
2. Harris (back) is 13-of-24 from the field in three games since returning from a one-game absence.
3. Dallas took all three meetings last season by an average of 14.3 points.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 108, Timberwolves 92