<
>

Rapid Reaction: Wolves 123, Mavs 122 (OT)

DALLAS -- A furious rally by the Dallas Mavericks fell short in a 123-122 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

How it happened: The Mavs couldn't complete what would have been their biggest comeback of the season.

A crunch-time scoring flurry by Monta Ellis, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the final 3:49 of regulation, allowed the Mavs to send the game into overtime. A one-legged fadeaway by Dirk Nowitzki gave Dallas a lead with 33.1 seconds left.

But All-Star power forward Kevin Love responded with the game-winning floater on the following possession. Nowitzki missed a midrange jumper with Love in his face at the buzzer.

The Mavs trailed by as many as 22 points in the second quarter in large part because of terrible transition defense. But Dallas slashed the deficit to three points in a seven-minute span to make it a game.

Minnesota built the lead back up to 13 in the fourth quarter before Ellis, who was plagued with foul trouble for most of the game, took over. However, with Nowitzki missing all five of his shots from the field in the fourth quarter, the Mavs couldn't finish the job in regulation.

Love led all scorers with 35 points, including six of the Timberwolves’ 10 in overtime. Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio stuffed the box score with a 22-point, 15-assist, 10-rebound, 4-steal outing.

Nowitzki led the Mavs with 27 points, but he was only 11-of-27 from the field, including the miss at the buzzer.

What it means: The Mavs are back in eighth place in the Western Conference, percentage points behind the Memphis Grizzlies, after their three-game winning streak was snapped. Dallas (41-28) is two games behind the Golden State Warriors. The Timberwolves (34-32), who are five games out of the final playoff spot, will still need a miracle to make the postseason.

Play of the game: Love knocked down the game winner despite being double-teamed after dribbling to the left block. Love split Devin Harris and Shawn Marion before putting a floater over a leaping Brandan Wright to give the Timberwolves the lead with 17.1 seconds left.

Stat of the night: The Mavs' biggest comeback of the season was rallying from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Houston Rockets on Nov. 20 at the American Airlines Center.