The Minnesota Timberwolves accumulated a new defeat, this time against the Dallas Mavericks, after an abysmal first quarter in which the team of Ricky Rubio He conceded 43 points thanks to a brilliant exit from Texans center Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 15 points.
Porzingis had one of his best nights in a long time and finished the game as the top scorer for his team, with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists, one point more than Luka Doncic from Slovenia, and three more than Tim Hardaway Jr.
Initially, the game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas was considered an ideal setting for the Slovenian star of the Mavs to shine as he did in Saturday's game against the Golden State Warriors, when he scored 42 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds.
Doncic's performance, who with today's performance has scored more than 25 points in 11 consecutive games and becomes the third Mavs player to achieve a similar streak after the 13 consecutive games of Mark Aguirre and Dirk Nowitzki, has made Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has compared him to Larry Bird and Reggie Miller.
Meanwhile, the Wolves arrived in Dallas after adding another painful 120-118 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday after allowing 83 points in the first half. And the performance of the Wolves, who carry 13 straight games without star center Karl-Anthony Towns, discharged after contracting covid-19, and that on Saturday they did not have their starting point guard and top scorer, D'Angelo Russell, they anticipated new problems, especially since the Wolves have not won at the Mavs' home since April 3, 2019.
In the end, the match was more of a recital by Latvian Porzingis than Doncic. And the Wolves insisted on repeating the script. In the first quarter they conceded 43 points and in the first half 71 points. And although in the fourth quarter the Wolves slapped Dallas back, endorsing them 45 points, the effort was useless. As it was that the Timberwolves took the last three quarters, scoring more points in each of them than those of Dallas.
The game started on an equal footing, with a Porzingis who did and wrote down everything: innings to baskets, triples, long range shots, rebounds, blocks, and all this dribbling with ease. In the first three minutes, KP was the author of 7 of the 9 points for his team. He finished the fourth 3 triples of four attempts, 2 of 3 of two points and the two free throws he threw.
Meanwhile, the Wolves, after initially replicating the successes of Dallas, from the middle of the first quarter they collapsed in attack and defense, scoring only 8 points in those 6 minutes while the Mavs rose to 29.
With that weight on their feet, the game became an impossible mission for the Wolves who also they lost D'Angelo Russell after playing the initial 6 minutes, which allowed Rubio to accumulate the minutes he needs to regain his form.
In the second quarter, Minnesotans were able to score one more point than Dallas (28-29), but at halftime the scoreboard indicated a 20-point lead for the Mavs, 71-51.
In the locker room, Saunders read the card to his players and the team, the youngest in the NBA this year, reacted, especially Malik Beasley, who scored 27 points in the last 24 minutes of the game, including 6 of the 9 triples that tried.
It was Beasley's baskets, and the two consecutive triples in the last two minutes of the game, that allowed the Wolves to get closer to the scoreboard and place a 123-120 with 50 seconds to go for the end.
The game also allowed to see flashes of the best Rubio, with a series of assists from the Spanish base from the baseline, including a pass from the back, which allowed him to finish the game with 9 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.
The game also saw the return of the Spanish power forward of the Wolves, Juancho Hernángomez. Hernángomez, who has been out due to the NBA's covid-19 protocols, played 8.36 minutes and scored one of the two triples he tried to finish with 5 points, a rebound and an assist.