How it happened: Just like Saturday night against the Grizzlies, the Mavericks jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a convincing win against a team playing the butt end of a back-to-back.
This wasn’t quite as impressive as the Mavs’ blowout of Memphis, but it was a beautifully balanced and efficient offensive performance.
Sixth man Elton Brand scored a season-high 20 points to lead six Mavs in double figures, knocking down 10 of 13 shots from the floor.
O.J. Mayo had arguably his best all-around performance as a Maverick, stuffing the box score with 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Mayo, who made eight of 11 shots from the floor, was only one assist shy of his season high. He had never had that many points, rebounds and assists in one game.
Darren Collison played like the confident, effective point guard who led the Mavs to a 4-1 start. He put up 23 points (6-10 FG) and nine assists, putting the finishing touches on the win with a two-hand fast-break slam, drawing a technical foul for hanging on the rim.
The Timberwolves got a big spark off the bench from ex-Mav J.J. Barea, who scored 20 points in his first game as a visitor at the American Airlines Center, but Minnesota never mounted a serious threat in the second half. The Mavs’ lead swelled to as large as 23 points. The Timberwolves cut it to seven in the fourth quarter, but that was as close as they got.
What it means: The Mavs have their first three-game winning streak since Dec. 6-10. Dallas has improved to 16-23, five games out of eighth place in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves have lost five of six games since star power forward Kevin Love broke his hand again.
Play of the game: Collison delivered a pretty look-away, one-hand feed to Dirk Nowitzki for a left-handed layup to finish a four-on-one fast break. The bucket, Nowitzki’s second layup on a break of the night, highlighted a sizzling shooting stretch for the Mavs to start the second half. Dallas hit nine of its first 11 shots after halftime.
Stat of the night: The Mavs’ 33 assists were a season high. Their 10 turnovers were only one above their season low.