Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Monday, November 22nd
Game 2: Tuesday, December 7th
Game 3: Sunday, March 13th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 15th

Mavericks 102

(41-21, 21-10 away)

Timberwolves 93

(32-32, 18-15 home)

12:00 PM ET, March 13, 2005

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 23 21 27 31102
MIN 27 19 23 2493

Top Performers

Dal: J. Terry 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl

Min: K. Garnett 24 Pts, 13 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Terry helps Dallas pull away in second half

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- While ex-teammate Steve Nash is enjoying an MVP-type season in Phoenix, Dallas is looking for a strong push from its new point guard as the playoffs near.

Jason Terry is starting to give the Mavericks what they need.

Terry scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and dished out 12 assists to help Dallas pull away from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 102-93 victory on Sunday afternoon.

"Every time he shoots the ball, it looks like it's going in," said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds. "We've got to get him in the paint and create opportunities for everybody."

Kevin Garnett finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Timberwolves, though he departed briefly after getting poked in the right eye in the second quarter. After reaching for a rebound and getting hit inadvertently by Josh Howard, drawing a foul, Garnett missed two free throws and left for the locker room.

Terry, in his first season with Dallas after spending the last five with Atlanta, has four 20-point games in his last five. Reserve Marquis Daniels scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth, and Howard finished with 15 points. The Mavericks went 12-for-13 from the free-throw line in the final period after going 8-for-16 over the first three.

These teams play again Tuesday in Dallas.

"Jason Terry was unbelievably aggressive," Garnett said. "We've got to keep Jason under control."

Garnett returned to the lineup for the second half, and Minnesota was playing relatively well until early in the fourth when Daniels and Terry led the Mavs on a 17-6 run to make it 90-81 with 3:48 remaining.

It was a familiar finish for a team that has been perhaps the league's biggest disappointment this season -- a careless turnover here, a missed switch against the pick-and-roll there and another defeat.

"We gave up way too many second-chance opportunities," said Mark Madsen, whose foul trouble in the second half thinned the Wolves' frontcourt even more and forced Garnett -- who's fighting a sore knee -- to play 40 minutes.

Michael Olowokandi (sprained right knee) and Eddie Griffin (broken left hand) are out with injuries, and starting center John Thomas couldn't play in the second half because he was sick.

Trenton Hassell had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points off the bench for the Timberwolves (32-32). They're 7-6 since Kevin McHale replaced Flip Saunders as coach and began the day one game out of the final playoff spot in 10th place in the Western Conference.

Garnett's turnaround cut the lead to 93-87 near the 2-minute mark, but Terry took advantage of lax defense on the other end and drove the baseline for an easy layup.

"We just cannot allow those things to happen on the weak side," Madsen said.

Later, Terry caught a long pass on a fast break and flipped a wild shot up on the backboard to avoid losing control of the ball. It went in, and he was fouled. The three-point play made it 98-89 with 47.9 seconds to go, and Terry taunted the Minnesota bench with a scowl.

"My third quarter was a little rough," Terry said. "I credit Coach for sticking with me. The guys got on me a little bit."

Acting coach Avery Johnson, who filled in for Don Nelson this week, was pleased with Terry's response.

"It wasn't just his points," Johnson said. "It was his body language and decision-making. But he always comes back to make Coach happy. When he's aggressive, we're a much better basketball team."

Game notes

ABC sideline reporter Jim Gray approached Dallas owner Mark Cuban during warmups for a 45-minute conversation that appeared to be congenial and both men characterized as constructive. Cuban ordered his organization not to accommodate Gray for interviews and requested a suspension or apology, alleging that Gray tried to create controversy between the club and Nash by "ambushing" Nowitzki in a recent interview. "We agree to disagree," Cuban said. Gray said he was not prohibited from talking to the Mavericks. "We're just moving forward," he said. ... Sam Cassell has missed 22 of the last 33 games because of a strained right hamstring could be ready to return, again, on Tuesday. Same for Olowokandi. ... Nelson, who is with his wife as she recovers from surgery, missed his third straight game while Johnson filled in.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 102 93
FGM-FGA 39-87 (.448) 33-72 (.458)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 3-13 (.231)
FTM-FTA 20-29 (.690) 24-31 (.774)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-45 5-46
Assists 22 24
Turnovers 6 16
Steals 6 2
Blocks 2 5
Fast Break Points 15 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 25 (0/0)
Largest Lead 9 8

Top Performers

Jason Terry Terry
Points: 22
Reb: 4
Ast: 12
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 24
Reb: 13
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 1