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Minnesota at Dallas

Mavericks 109, Timberwolves 103

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DALLAS -- The Mavericks got a lift when coach Avery Johnson went back to a tried-and-true lineup. However, Dallas still struggled down the stretch before avoiding a fourth straight defeat to an underdog.

Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Devin Harris scored 22 points, and the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 109-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Johnson promised changes in response to the three-game skid, and he moved Jason Terry and Erick Dampier into the starting lineup in place of Trenton Hassell and DeSegana Diop.

The lineup of Nowitzki, Harris, Terry, Dampier and Josh Howard was one of the most effective groups for the Mavericks last season when they won 67 games. But Johnson also wants Terry's firepower off the bench, and Terry is expected to return to his sixth-man role soon.

"We wanted to go back to our old lineup, five guys who are familiar with each other," Johnson said. "But hopefully we won't have to use it again for the rest of the season."

Defending MVP Nowitzki came through down the stretch, scoring eight points in the final 5:41, six from the free-throw line where he converted all 13 attempts. Nowitzki has hit all 24 foul shots he's taken over the last two games.

"I just kept working and stayed aggressive and looked for my shot if it was there," Nowitzki said. "And if it's not, swing the ball to the open man. We've got enough guys on this team who can make plays and really shoot it."

Brandon Bass had 15 points to help the Mavericks improve to 7-1 at home.

Terry and Howard had 12 points each and Dampier contributed eight points and 10 rebounds.

Harris' ability to push the ball for easy shots was a key element for Dallas, with Harris going 9-for-10 from the field and adding six assists.

"Harris is one of the fastest guys in the league," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "Give him a head of steam and he can go right by you."

Al Jefferson had a season-high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Rashad McCants scored 21 points, and Craig Smith added a season-high 17 for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota was coming off a rare victory on Monday night at New Orleans, and the Timberwolves hung tough until the closing seconds.

The Timberwolves closed to 108-103 on McCants' three-point play with 29 seconds left.

Terry then made one of two free throws with 26 seconds remaining, and Nowitzki rebounded Jefferson's miss from five feet with 15 seconds left to seal the win.

Nowitzki scored five points during a 14-7 run to open the third quarter, extending the Mavericks' lead to 72-52.

But the Timberwolves played better defense, fueling a 13-5 spurt over the final 2:16 of the third quarter led by Smith's seven points to close the gap to 83-77.

"We kept attacking and got some stops," McCants said of the comeback.

Dallas was in front at halftime, 58-45, on the strength of 22-for-42 field-goal shooting.

The Mavericks had 11-0 run late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter capped by Jose Barea's three-point play for a 35-22 advantage.

Dallas went 12-for-21 in the opening period and built a 30-22 lead entering the second quarter behind Harris' 11 points.

Harris was under orders to get the running game rolling, and he responded.

"We really wanted to push the pace and get some layups," Harris said. "We've been getting off to slow starts. This was a big win for us. We haven't played well the last three games. It was time to get back to basics."

Notes

Dallas G Eddie Jones (sore right leg) and F Devean George (left foot) will be out for at least another week. ... G Randy Foye (left knee) and C Theo Ratliff (sore right knee) remain out for Minnesota. ... Dallas has won the last six meetings with Minnesota. ...Jefferson has 10 double-doubles this season.

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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Scoreboard
Minnesota (2-11) 22233226103
Dallas (10-5) «30282526109
MIN:A. Jefferson 31 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 14 Reb
MIN:M. Jaric 7 Ast
DAL:D. Nowitzki 27 Pts
DAL:D. Nowitzki 11 Reb
DAL:D. Harris 6 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasMinnesota

D. Nowitzki

A. Jefferson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2711431140

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Minnesota
M. Jaric, SF405-91-277512
R. McCants, SG367-177-711321
A. Jefferson, PF3511-199-14140331
R. Gomes, PF171-31-12133
M. Madsen, PF140-10-02210
A. Walker, SF276-141-141413
S. Telfair, PG273-40-01236
C. Smith, PF208-91-370517
G. Buckner, SG150-20-02020
C. Brewer, SF90-50-00000
T. Ratliff, CDid Not Play
M. Doleac, CDid Not Play
G. Green, SGDid Not Play
R. Foye, PGDid Not Play
C. Richard, PFDid Not Play
Totals 41-8320-28401429103
 49.4%71.4% 
Dallas
J. Howard, SF405-172-432312
D. Harris, SG379-104-626322
J. Terry, PG365-111-224212
D. Nowitzki, PF357-1313-13114127
E. Dampier, C293-32-410168
B. Bass, PF225-65-530015
J. Stackhouse, SF203-124-481210
J. Barea, PG111-41-11313
D. Diop, C100-00-04040
J. Howard, PFDid Not Play
E. Jones, SGDid Not Play
D. George, SGDid Not Play
T. Hassell, SFDid Not Play
M. Ager, SGDid Not Play
N. Fazekas, PFDid Not Play
Totals 38-7632-39442122109
 50.0%82.1% 
Other Games
Mil 80 Final
Atl 96
Utah 106 Final
Phi 95
Mem 91 Final
Tor 103
Cle 74 Final
Det 109
Wash 94 Final
SA 109
Hou 100 Final
Pho 94
Ind 95 Final
Port 89
GS 103 Final
Sac 96
Orl 110 Final
Sea 94