Mavericks are ‘nothing’ with out Doncic & Irving, get crushed by Timberwolves

Karl-Anthony Cities had 29 factors and 9 rebounds for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 121-87 victory over the depleted Dallas Mavericks, who performed Wednesday night time with out stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Rudy Gobert scored 17 factors and Naz Reid added 12 factors for the West-leading Wolves (34-14). They endured a sluggish begin till Cities sparked their surge with two 3-pointers within the final 35 seconds of the primary half to provide them the lead for good. Cities, who had 11 factors within the third quarter, went 4 for six from 3-point vary and is capturing a career-best 44.2% from deep.

“I simply wished it to translate to successful,” Cities stated. “That is what’s actually good about this yr.”

Doncic (sprained proper ankle) and Irving (sprained proper thumb) each sat for the third recreation this season, and the Mavericks have misplaced all three. They’ve performed with out at the very least one among them 26 instances in 48 video games.

Josh Inexperienced had 18 factors and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 14 factors for the Mavericks. They shot simply 6 for 29 from 3-point vary towards the NBA’s finest scoring protection. This was the fewest factors allowed by the Wolves this season.

“I would not say we ran out of fuel. I might say we received hit and we did not hit again,” Inexperienced stated.

Minnesota followers: Doncic’s harm report, a buzz kill

This low-profile Mavericks lineup gave the Wolves a little bit of a breather after a four-game street journey they completed with an announcement win at Oklahoma Metropolis, however for the followers in Minnesota who wished to see Doncic the harm report was fairly the excitement kill. The four-time first-team All-NBA choose additionally sat out the Dec. 28 recreation right here due to soreness in his left quadriceps. Irving did not play in that one, both.

With rookie Dereck Energetic II (damaged nostril), guard Dante Exum (proper knee bursitis) and ahead Derrick Jones Jr. (sprained left wrist) additionally out, the Mavericks performed with out their whole optimum beginning lineup and 5 of their high six scorers.

Irving has missed 5 straight video games and performed solely 27 instances this season. Doncic, the NBA chief in minutes per recreation (37.5), has been enjoying by his harm for essentially the most half. This was his fifth absence associated to the ankle this season.

“Hopefully they get wholesome quickly, however on the finish of the day, we will not be down whether or not the fellows sit or not,” Inexperienced stated. “We’ve got to enter each recreation with the identical mindset.”

Doncic, who scored 146 factors within the final three video games, helped Dallas erase a 16-point deficit and beat Orlando on Monday night time. The Mavericks (26-22) are hardly within the secure zone for the playoffs, although, with 5 losses of their final seven video games. They entered the night in seventh place within the convention.

Anthony Edwards, who was fined $40,000 by the league earlier within the day for criticizing the officiating in Oklahoma Metropolis, had a quiet 9 factors for the Wolves with out a single shot try after the primary quarter. Mike Conley, who missed 4 of the earlier 5 video games with left hamstring soreness, returned to motion with 10 factors in 25 minutes. His 3-pointer early within the fourth quarter capped a 22-3 run.

“It regarded like a really typical Mike Conley recreation,” coach Chris Finch stated. “He did an excellent job of operating the present, speaking with all the fellows, holding us nicely organized after which hitting huge photographs.”

The Wolves had been in a position to empty their bench down the stretch, even giving G-Leaguer Luka Garza 5 minutes. He had eight factors.


Mavericks: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night time.

Timberwolves: Host Orlando on Friday night time.

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