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Dallas at Minnesota

Dallas wins 13th in row; T-Wolves shoot 30 percent from field

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Dallas Mavericks established a franchise record for fewest points allowed. They also, for the first time in history, finished a month without being beaten.

It's only February, however, and they're not interested in flattery.

Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Josh Howard rebounded from a sprained ankle suffered the night before to lead the Mavericks to their 13th straight victory on Tuesday night, 91-65 over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Nobody's in here jumping up and down," said Jason Terry, who had 18 points and seven assists.

Howard added 17 points, and Dallas raised its league-best record to 48-9.

That wasn't all, though.

The Mavericks, who improved to 11-0 on the second night of back-to-back games, went 10-0 in February. The 65 points managed by Minnesota was an all-time low for Dallas, breaking the previous mark of 68 for a team that was not too long ago derided as "Allas" -- as in no "D."

Coach Avery Johnson, in less than two years, has helped transform the Mavericks into a well-rounded bunch. They held Kevin Garnett and the lethargic Timberwolves to a franchise-worst 29.6 field-goal percentage on 24-for-81 shooting.

Some of that stemmed from Minnesota's struggles, but Dallas is clearly a difficult club to play against at any spot on the floor. It has become just as difficult, however, to get the Mavericks to acknowledge their near-invincibility.

"I can already count in my head about eight mistakes I had individually," Terry said.

Garnett counted six mistakes by the Wolves on their first six possessions -- one blocked shot and five turnovers. They never had a lead in this one.

"We don't have the experience nor the personnel to sort of get us in positions to climb ourselves out," said Garnett, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds. "We sometimes hang our hats on our youthfulness, and sometimes that's a disadvantage."

Ricky Davis scored 15 points, and Mark Blount added 10 points for Minnesota, which matched a season low with an eight-point second quarter and trailed 42-27 at the half.

Howard, who got hurt against the Hawks when he landed on the foot of Atlanta's Joe Johnson while following through on a jump shot, had 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting before halftime. The decision to play Howard wasn't made until shortly before tipoff, but it probably didn't matter if he suited up or not.

Minnesota has lost 15 of its last 21 games. The chemistry and consistent effort that coach Randy Wittman, who took over for the fired Dwane Casey on Jan. 23, has searched for has not emerged.

Randy Foye offered one of the hard-to-come-by highlights when he blocked Jerry Stackhouse's shot at the top of the key, started a fast break and swished a tricky reverse layup from underneath the basket that went almost straight up in the air.

He was fouled by Stackhouse, and Foye's free throw cut the lead to 46-37 early in the third quarter. Just 23 seconds later, though, Terry swished a 26-footer to put Dallas back up by double digits.

The crowd, announced at 13,326, was as quiet as ever despite the high-profile opponent. Late in the fourth quarter, one fan sitting in the pricey seats near midcourt screamed, "Can you at least get five guys out there who pretend like they want to win!?"

The Wolves haven't played like it very much over the past month.

"I don't think it's about our shooting. I think it's about pride, and that we don't have right now," said Marko Jaric, who went scoreless in 10 minutes. "We need to find it.

Notes

  • Dallas was without defensive standout Greg Buckner for the second straight game because of a bruised left knee he sustained Saturday against Denver. Johnson said swingman Devean George, a native of Minneapolis, was getting close to returning from a sprained right knee. He's missed the last five games, but he might practice this week.
  • Rashad McCants had four points in 18 minutes for Minnesota. Progress in his comeback from microfracture surgery on his right knee has been predictably slow. "This is an injury that we knew was going to take some time," Wittman said.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki posts a tongue-wagging 23 points and 14 boards as Dallas wins again.  (AP)
All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki posts a tongue-wagging 23 points and 14 boards as Dallas wins again. (AP)

Scoreboard
Dallas (48-9) «2616262391
Minnesota (26-31) 198261265
DAL:D. Nowitzki 23 Pts
DAL:D. Nowitzki 14 Reb
DAL:J. Terry 7 Ast
MIN:K. Garnett 15 Pts
MIN:K. Garnett 13 Reb
MIN:T. Hassell 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MinnesotaDallas

K. Garnett

D. Nowitzki
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1513223143
Dallas
D. Nowitzki, PF3810-181-1143123
J. Terry, PG388-180-047018
J. Howard, SF367-131-273317
D. Harris, PG244-91-25259
E. Dampier, C201-24-54026
D. Diop, C263-40-010026
J. Stackhouse, SF231-70-03223
A. Croshere, PF212-80-05125
M. Ager, SG80-10-01010
P. Mensah-Bonsu, PF31-10-00002
J. Barea, PG30-12-21002
G. Buckner, SGDid Not Play
D. George, SFDid Not Play
D. Mbenga, CDid Not Play
Totals 37-829-1254181891
 45.1%75.0% 
Minnesota
K. Garnett, PF395-165-5132115
R. Davis, SG345-141-241115
T. Hassell, SF301-50-05612
R. Foye, PG273-111-12318
M. Blount, C243-74-540510
C. Smith, PF294-81-28029
M. James, PG180-60-01220
R. McCants, SG182-70-00124
M. Jaric, PG110-30-00120
T. Hudson, PG40-10-00000
J. Reed, SF40-10-01010
B. Wright, SG31-20-01002
M. Madsen, CDid Not Play
E. Griffin, PFDid Not Play
Totals 24-8112-1539161865
 29.6%80.0% 
Other Games
NO 89 Final
Cle 97
Pho 103 Final
Ind 92
Wash 101 Final
NJ 113
GS 101 Final
Mil 122