The Dallas Mavericks dropped to 2-14 on Friday night with a 111-87 loss to Minnesota. The game was truly a tale of two halves as Dallas played about as strong of a first half as they have all season, taking a 55-43 lead into the break and holding Minnesota to 31.8% shooting from the field. Harrison Barnes led all scorers at halftime with 15.
The second half was a different story as the Wolves outscored Dallas, 68-32.
Third quarters have been problematic all season long for Dallas and Friday night was no exception. The Wolves outscored the Mavericks, 31-17, in the frame and Dallas stagnated on offense after moving the ball crisply in the first half en route to the double-digit lead. The Wolves locked in on defense and used the stops to build momentum which eventually carried them out of striking distance.
New Maverick Antonius Cleveland saw time on Friday as he stripped Jamal Crawford on the final play of the third quarter, but he picked up two quick fouls in the final period before being subbed out for Devin Harris.
It’s worth wondering what Tom Thibodeau said at halftime because Minnesota looked like a completely different team in the second half. After missing eight of their first nine attempts from deep, the Wolves hit eight of 16 behind Crawford and Bjelica to take an 86-78 lead into the final half of the fourth quarter.
Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks have to have a different mindset coming out in third quarters.
“I think some missed shots took some starch out of us,” he said. “That’s a mindset thing and I know we’re better than that.”
Jimmy Butler led Minnesota with 21 points and was a +21 during his time on the court. Jeff Teague had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. Andrew Wiggins contributed 19 and Karl-Anthony Towns had 15.
Barnes finished with 18 to lead Dallas and Nowitzki finished with 15. Yogi Ferrell was the only other Maverick in double figures with 10.
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