Mavs Finally Show Up at Home, Blow Out Timberwolves 139-123
DALLAS - After spending the majority of the first half of the season struggling from the friendly confines of the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Mavericks on Monday finally came to play in front of their home crowd, dominating the Minnesota Timberwolves 139-123.
“I felt that we did what we needed to do," Rick Carlisle said. "which was to get some traction defensively at some point in the game, which was really in the third and fourth quarter. We did a lot of good things in the second half, but the first half was ratty. We were playing more of their game than we probably wanted to. We did better things in the second half, and we needed to.”
Dallas took its first lead of the game with 11:14 remaining in the first quarter, and never looked back, scoring a whopping 81 points in the first half of action, before going on to hit 51-percent from the floor as a team, including 37-percent from beyond the arc.
Luka Doncic was once again a maestro from the point guard position on Monday night, filling up the stat sheet with a 20-point, nine-rebound, seven-assist performance, all part of an evening during which the AAC crowd sang "Happy Birthday'' to the star who turns 21 on Feb. 26.
Tim Hardaway Jr. also continued his electric post-All-Star Break scoring output, pouring in 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
“I just love the way (Hardaway) plays," Carlisle said. "He goes hard, he cares about winning, and he is one of our leaders. You saw at the beginning of the game he was guarding the best player – D’Angelo Russell. He has had a great year.”
Kristaps Porzingis contributed 15 points and nine rebounds of his own, while Delon Wright added 16 points and Seth Curry notched 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting off the bench.
Dallas also had two other players finish in double figures for the night, including Maxi Kleber with 11 points, J.J. Barea with 12, while Dorian Finney-Smith added eight points.
Even Michael-Kidd Gilchrist got in on the action, scoring his first bucket as a Dallas Maverick.
The Mavs won't have long to enjoy this brief homestand, as they are set to hit the road for four straight games away from the American Airlines Center, beginning with a trip to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Wednesday night.
Dallas is 2-0 against the Spurs so far this season, with the last matchup coming in a 102-98 win at home on Boxing Day.
“It was a tough loss over there in Atlanta, but we took care of home," J.J. Barea said. "I think we did a great job all-around, and we can still do better. We still have to get better and come to practice and get better and get ready for San Antonio.”