Mavs Fans For Life

Game 72 Recap: Mavs vs Timberwolves

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Minnesota Timberwolves in the final game of the regular season. The Mavericks still have something to play for as they could improve their seeding with a win. The Mavericks look to finish the regular season on a good note by grabbing a win.

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Toronto Raptors in the final home game at the American Airlines Center in the regular season. The Mavericks started this game on a roll as their offense was clicking which allowed them to take a 66-52 halftime lead. The Mavericks never trailed in this game but the Raptors were able to give the Mavericks a run for their money and made them earn this win by making it difficult. The Raptors were able to come within three points of the Mavericks with three minutes left in the game but the Mavericks were able to hold on and finish the game with a 114-110 win. Luka Doncic finished the game with his 11th triple-double of the season as he finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. The Mavericks had production from Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 21 points in the crucial win. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 42-29 on the season, as they have now officially clinched a top-six seed and avoid playing in the “Play-in Tournament”. The Mavericks will finish no worst than the sixth seed in the western conference standings. The Mavericks, with one game left to play on the season, still have a lot to play for as they could finish the season with the fifth seed IF they finish the season with a win. Much is at stake as this game has seeding implications for the Mavericks. The Mavericks will finish with the 5th seed with a win OR a Portland Trail Blazers loss OR a Los Angeles Lakers win. The Mavericks are the 6th seed IF they lose AND Portland Trail Blazers win AND Los Angeles Lakers lose. The Mavericks are playing either the 3rd or 4th seed in the playoffs depending on where they finish. The Mavericks will most likely play the Los Angeles Clippers or the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, depending on the results of the games.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming into this game by going 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 124-108 loss against the Boston Celtics on Saturday to see their record drop to 22-49 on the season. The Timberwolves were coming into this season with some hopes of trying to make the playoffs but they have now turned their attention to grabbing a good draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The Timberwolves are currently the fifth-worst team in the NBA. This team is led by Karl-Anthony Towns as they look to finish the season on a good note. If their current trend continues, they will secure a good draft pick to select from in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Timberwolves 128-108 on March 24th, 2021. The Mavericks are looking to capture the season series sweep with a win in this matchup. The Mavericks previously swept their regular season series last season 3-0 against the Timberwolves. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 73-51.

The Mavericks started this game by having Maxi Kleber (right Achilles soreness) and JJ Redick (right heel soreness) be ruled out for the final game of the regular season. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Hardaway Jr, Finney-Smith, Porzingis and Powell as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Jaden McDaniels as he nailed a three pointer for the Timberwolves to get this game underway. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points until the 10:50 mark as Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a layup to come within 3-2 of the Timberwolves. The Mavericks were able to take their first lead in the game after Dorian Finney-Smith nailed a driving layup to take a 4-3 lead with 10:33 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves were able to retake the lead after Jarred Vanderbilt knocked down a “tip-in” shot to take a 7-6 lead with 8:45 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:57 left in the quarter after the Timberwolves extended their lead to 10-6. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the game by making three of their first eight attempts while the Timberwolves made four of their first ten attempts taken thus far. The Timberwolves, even though they had nothing play for, came to play like they wanted to win this game as their offense was rolling. The Mavericks, as usual, had a slow start to begin the game as their offense was just started to wake up. The Timberwolves were able to generate a 7-0 run to grab control of the lead thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to convert on a jump shot to come within 10-8 of the Timberwolves with 7:35 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves were able to extend their lead to eight points after Jaden McDaniels knocked down a “tip-in” shot to extend their lead to 16-8 with 6:15 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves were able to extend their lead to twelve points after Karl-Anthony Towns knocked down two free-throws to extend their lead to 20-8 with 4:38 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Timberwolves were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 38-22 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Jaden McDaniels as he scored 10 points for the Timberwolves. The Mavericks were led by Jalen Brunson as he scored 5 points. This quarter belonged to the Timberwolves as they were the ones that had their offense clicking. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavericks were shooting 39.1% on 9-of-23 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Josh Richardson nail a driving layup for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Timberwolves wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:12 mark as Josh Okogie nailed a free-throw to extend their lead to 39-24. The Timberwolves were able to extend their lead to seventeen points after Jaden McDaniels nailed a thunderous slam dunk to extend their lead to 44-27 that forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 9:03 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making just two of their first eight attempts while the Timberwolves made two of their first six attempts taken thus far. The Timberwolves were able to generate a 5-2 run to maintain control of the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis as he was able to convert on a alley-oop slam dunk to come within 44-29 of the Timberwolves with 8:43 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves were able to extend their lead to twenty points after D’Angelo Russell knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 49-29 with 8:07 left in the quarter. It looked like the Mavericks were playing this game very cautiously as they just want to escape this game without suffering any injuries going into the playoffs. This game was quickly getting out of hand early as the Timberwolves offense was eating as they were able to get good quality shots to go down. The Timberwolves would call a timeout with 5:20 left in the quarter after the Mavericks shrunk their lead to 59-41. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to generate a quick 6-2 run to try to chew off their deficit one possession at a time. The Timberwolves were playing hard as they clearly wanted to grab a win and finish the season with their heads up. The Mavericks looked like they were just going through the motions as they just want to get this game over with. Coming out of the timeout, the Timberwolves turned to Karl-Anthony Towns but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 59-41 with 5:07 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Timberwolves were able to take a 76-60 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Jaden McDaniels as he scored 14 points for the Timberwolves. The Mavericks were led by Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson as they both scored 12 points. The quarter was mostly dominated by the Timberwolves as they were able to play good basketball on both ends of the court. At the end of the first half, the Mavericks were shooting 50% on 24-of-48 shooting from the field. At the time of this, the Los Angeles Lakers were leading the New Orleans Pelicans 63-59 at halftime and the Portland Trail Blazers were leading the Denver Nuggets 72-55 at halftime which would give the Mavericks the fifth seed IF the outcome holds on in those games because the Mavericks hold the three-way tiebreaker since they are the ONLY ones that won their division. The final two quarters of the regular season is about to happen for the Mavericks as they are more concerned with the health than the outcome of the game.

Coming out of the half, the Timberwolves were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Jarred Vanderbilt nail a layup to extend their lead to 78-60. Dorian Finney-Smith was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Mavericks as he nailed a three pointer with 11:18 left in the quarter to come within 78-63 of the Timberwolves. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:27 left in the quarter after the Timberwolves extended their lead to 91-70. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making four of their first five attempts while the Timberwolves made five of their first eight attempts taken thus far. The Timberwolves were able to get off to a tremendous start as it seemed like every single one of their shots were falling down while the Mavericks had trouble stopping these Timberwolves. The Timberwolves were able to generate a 8-2 run to maintain control of the lead thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to draw a foul while shooting a three pointer to go to the free-throw line, in which he would knock down all three free-throws to come within 91-73 of the Timberwolves with 8:14 left in the quarter. The Timberwolves were able to extend their lead to twenty-three points after Anthony Edwards knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 98-75 with 6:59 left in the quarter. If only the Timberwolves played like this consistently throughout the season then they would have clinched a spot in the playoffs but this game doesn’t matter as they have already been eliminated a long time ago, so why not go out with a bang. The Mavericks just want to leave this game healthy so that they could be fresh for the playoffs. The Timberwolves would reach the 100-point mark in the game after Karl-Anthony Towns knocked down todo free-throws to extend their lead to 100-83 with 4:54 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Timberwolves were able to maintain control of the lead and take a 113-95 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Anthony Edwards as he scored 24 points for the Timberwolves. The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic as they each scored 18 points. Another quarter that was dominated by the Timberwolves as they were playing with tremendous amount of energy as they were seriously wanting to grab this win. It looked like the Timberwolves were playing like they had playoff implications while the Mavericks were playing like they were the ones eliminated to give you a perspective on how this game was going. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 53% on 35-of-66 shooting from the field. Alright, one more 12:00 minute quarter left in the regular season and then it’s playoff time for the Mavericks.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Josh Green nail a fancy layup while being fouled in which he missed the “AND-ONE” free-throw for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Timberwolves weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 11:31 mark by having Jordan McLaughlin nail a layup to extend their lead to 115-97. The Mavericks were able to trim their deficit to nineteen points after Josh Richardson knocked down a three pointer to come within 119-100 of the Timberwolves with 9:14 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:08 left in the game after the Timberwolves extended their lead to 122-105. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks opened the quarter by making three of their first ten attempts while the Timberwolves made four of their first eight attempts taken thus far. Barring a huge comeback in the final minutes of the game, it looked like the Timberwolves were on their way to finishing the regular season with a win.

This team looked like they wanted to get this game over with as they could careless about the result of the game just as long as they left the game without suffering any major injuries while they get ready for the playoffs. The Timberwolves came out on a mission as they were able to take a 76-60 halftime lead. Remember, this game simply means nothing for the Mavericks since they already clinched a top-six seed and avoided playing in the “Play-in Tournament”. They could clinch the fifth seed with a win but it seemed like they were more focused on leaving the game healthy in time for the playoffs.

In the end, it was the Minnesota Timberwolves defeating the Dallas Mavericks 136-121. Luka Doncic finished the game with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the unimportant loss. The Timberwolves were led by Anthony Edwards as he finished with 30 points. The Mavericks got production from Kristaps Porzingis as he finished with 18 points in the loss. The Mavericks have concluded their 2020-2021 regular season with a record of 42-30. This season has been a wild ride given what the Mavericks had to go through during the season. The next game that the Mavericks will play will be in the first round of the playoffs as they will get some much needed rest between now and then.

The Mavericks will finish the season with the fifth seed in the western conference standings and play the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs (again).

Thank You to everyone for reading and keeping up with me during the 2020-2021 Dallas Mavericks regular season. Let’s get ready for the playoffs!

Categories: Mavs Fans For Life

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