Rapid Reaction: Timberwolves 114, Mavs 106 (OT)
December, 15, 2012
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
How it happened: The Mavericks fought back from 15 points down. They just failed miserably at finishing the job against a Minnesota team missing star power forward Kevin Love.
The Timberwolves scored the first 10 points of overtime, which opened with a breakaway dunk by Minnesota’s Alexey Shved. The Mavs didn't have a bucket in overtime until the final seconds.
The Mavs completed their rally from 15 points down when Derek Fisher hit an and-1 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining, using a screen from Elton Brand to get enough space to get a good look and knock it down despite being hit in the legs by Ricky Rubio.
Fisher, who had a season-high 20 points, got fouled again on a long jumper about a minute later and hit both free throws to give the Mavs a two-point lead. However, the Mavs’ veteran floor general fouled out on a silly reach-in the ensuing possession, with Rubio breaking the tie.
The teams traded buckets the next two possessions, and both squads missed opportunities for the go-ahead bucket on their final possession of regulation.
The Mavs dominated in the early going, but the game changed when Rubio got off the bench. Making his season debut about nine months after suffering a serious knee injury, Rubio energized the Timberwolves and electrified the Target Center crowd with his spectacular passing.
Rubio sparked a huge Minnesota run in the second quarter and finished with nine assists in 18 minutes.
Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and overtime.
What it means: What a terrible road trip for the Mavs. They left home with a three-game winning streak and return on a three-game losing streak. That drops Dallas to 11-13, including 4-10 on the road. The Timberwolves are 12-9, making them a major threat to go from the lottery to the Western Conference playoffs.
Play of the game: Passes don’t get any prettier than Rubio’s second assist of the season. With his back to the basket Rubio threw a bounce pass between two sets of legs -- his own and Brand’s -- right to Greg Stiemsma for an easy layup. The dime displayed the flair and rare court vision that make Rubio one of the NBA’s most fun players to watch.
Stat of the night: For the second consecutive night, the Mavs had more turnovers than field goals in the second quarter. They committed nine turnovers while shooting 4-of-20 from the floor while the Timberwolves outscored the Mavs 32-13 in Saturday’s second quarter. The Raptors had a 30-16 edge in Friday’s second quarter over the Mavs, who were 5-of-15 from the floor and committed six turnovers during that frame.