Jalen Brunson, Mavericks quickly avenge loss to Timberwolves
Jalen Brunson scored 28 points and dished six assists, and the Dallas Mavericks held on for a 114-102 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Dorian Finney-Smith added 19 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Mavericks, who avenged a road loss to the Timberwolves two nights earlier. Dwight Powell had 15 points and Sterling Brown registered 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns posted team highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds to go with seven assists for the Minnesota. Malik Beasley added 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting for the Timberwolves, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
Dallas relied on a 10-0 run to go ahead 104-95 with 4:21 to go. Finney-Smith hit two 3-pointers during the run, while Marquese Chriss had a dunk and Brunson made a pull-up jump shot.
— NBA (@NBA) December 22, 2021
The Timberwolves trailed by at least six points the rest of the way.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Minnesota erased a double-digit deficit to take a 95-94 lead with 6:44 remaining. Naz Reid had a 3-pointer and a cutting dunk in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter during the comeback.
The Mavericks led 88-78 at the end of the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Frank Ntilikina off an assist from Brunson gave Dallas a 13-point advantage in the final minute of the period, but D’Angelo Russell converted a three-point play on a floating jump shot and a free throw with 1.8 seconds to go.
Dallas built a 61-50 lead at the half.
The Timberwolves held on to a 35-34 lead after a fast-paced first quarter, but Dallas took control with a 27-15 advantage during the second quarter. Minnesota led 42-41 with 7:22 remaining before Dallas closed the first half on a 20-8 run to grab a double-digit advantage.
Both teams dealt with limited roster availability because of injuries and illnesses.
Minnesota played without Anthony Edwards, Taurean Prince, Josh Okogie, Patrick Beverley and Jarred Vanderbilt, all of whom were in COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Dallas remained without Luka Doncic because of a left ankle injury, and Kristaps Porzingis sat out because of soreness in his right toe. Four players missed the game in health and safety protocols: Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Josh Green and Reggie Bullock.
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