With Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter injured and not playing, the revolving lineups continued and coach Rick Carlisle found combinations for success. However, after building a 54-44 lead with 1:05 left in the half, the Mavs let up too soon and Minnesota reeled off eight consecutive points, six on back-to-back 3s.
Ricky Rubio hit the first from up top and then with 5.8 seconds left, Jason Terry threw it out of bounds. Rubio got the inbounds pass three-quarters court away from his basket, raced up court, dribbled behind his back at the top of the arc, then pushed a pass to Kevin Love for a 3 at the left wing.
And, boom, a game the Mavs absolutely dominated is just a two-point game.
Want something to look for to start the second half? How about a new starter at power forward. Lamar Odom was awful, going 1-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-2 at the free throw line. The rest of the Mavs were sizzling, 24-of-39 from the floor, and even Jason Kidd had the hot hand with five points on 2-of-3 shooting, including a 3-ball.
Terry leads Dallas with 11 points and Shawn Marion, a perfect 4-of-4 has eight points.
Kevin Love leads all scorers with 14 points and five rebounds, and Rubio has 11 with seven assists.