DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the NBA’s best in rebounding from a loss this season, so it was no surprise that they followed one of their most painful and controversial defeats with one of their best offensive performances of the season.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led Dallas with 23 points as the Mavericks never trailed in a 139-123 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center on Monday night. Five players scored in double figures on the evening, including Luka Doncic, who contributed 20 points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists in 25 minutes.
The Mavericks improved to 18-5 on the season in games after a loss, with tonight’s game coming after a four-point loss in Atlanta that ended in controversy when officials allowed a layup that came after a goaltending on Dorian Finney-Smith (which was later rescinded by replay) to stand, leading to the Hawks holding on to victory.
Dallas took some of that frustration out on the struggling Wolves, as it scored a season-high 81 first-half points in opening up a 16-point halftime lead.
“We can be great [offensively],” Hardaway said. “It just comes down to making the right reads, making the right passes, getting second-chance opportunities and running the floor.”
The Mavericks shot 56 percent in the first half, including making 12 of their 23 three-point attempts, in the game’s first 24 minutes.
Playing without injured star center Karl-Anthony Towns, the Timberwolves lost their fifth in a row and have lost 18 of their last 19 overall. Minnesota has also lost nine straight on the road as the team adjusts to its revamped roster after nine different players were traded during the trade deadline earlier this month.
“I would say it’s tough because we’re on the road right now,” said newly acquired guard Malik Beasley, who had 21 points. “It’s not like we’re at home practicing and getting better, having a mini training camp or anything like that. We’re all learning on the fly, but at the same time, we’ve got to hold each other accountable.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 16 pictures in total.