The Minnesota Timberwolves gave the Dallas Mavericks all they could handle on Monday night but a few plays down the stretch saw them come up short in a 110-108 loss.
The night got off to a strange start when tip-off was delayed because of a leak at American Airlines Arena. When the game got going, D'Angelo Russell gave the Timberwolves an early advantage on his way to 18 points on the night.
The Timberwolves also got a strong night from Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns put up 22 points and seven rebounds on the night but Dallas went into halftime with a 60-54 lead.
The second half was a battle for both teams. Luka Doncic was held to 15 points on the night but Spencer Dinwiddie stepped up with 20 points off the bench. The Mavericks also got a big night from Dwight Powell but the Dallas center fouled out of the game late after scoring a team-high 22 points.
The physicality increased late in the fourth quarter and it came down to who could make the big shot. Reggie Bullock fit the bill for Dallas, knocking down six 3-pointers on the night including one to put the Mavericks up 110-105 with 40 seconds to go.
Russell helped close the gap with a lay-up but the Timberwolves were left chasing the equalizer. Patrick Beverley was a central figure toward the end of the game. But after a missed free throw and several fouls, Towns' wild fadeaway at the buzzer couldn't connect and the Timberwolves were left with a moral victory.
The loss drops the Timberwolves (42-30) into a tie with the Denver Nuggets for the sixth seed and an automatic playoff berth in the Western Conference. It won't get easier on Wednesday when the Timberwolves host the Phoenix Suns, who own the NBA's best record at 58-14.