02/27/2007 Mavericks @ Minnesota
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Josh Howard bounced back from a sprained ankle suffered the night before to lead the Dallas Mavericks to their 13th straight victory, 91-65 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Howard had 17 points. Jason Terry added 18 points and seven assists for Dallas, which improved to a league-best 48-9. The Mavericks, who never trailed in this one, are 11-0 on the second night of back-to-back games.
Kevin Garnett led the lethargic Timberwolves with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Ricky Davis scored 15 points, and Mark Blount added 10 points. They shot a franchise-worst 29.6 percent from the field (24-for-81).
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, helped the Mavericks sail through the first half. They took a 42-27 lead, and Howard had 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
That was the lowest total for the Timberwolves in the first half this season, and their eight-point second quarter tied for franchise futility. They got their shots (44), but only 10 of them went in.
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 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!?
Dallas was without defensive standout Greg Buckner for the second straight game because of a bruised left knee he sustained Saturday against Denver. Coach Avery 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.