The Dallas Mavericks are among the last teams you'll hear mentioned when talking about potential Western Conference playoff teams, but they took it to the Timberwolves in Dallas on Saturday night.
Minnesota, playing without Jimmy Butler who was held out for rest purposes on the second night of a back-to-back, scored 46 points in the first quarter but couldn't figure out a way to slow down Dallas in a 140-136 loss.
The Wolves shot 52.4 percent from the field and hit a season-high 14 3-pointers. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 31 points and Derrick Rose looked like the vintage version of himself with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting off the bench, but the Mavericks scored 43 points in the fourth quarter and the game-winning and-1 jumper from Dennis Smith Jr. in the waning moments proved to be the winner for Dallas.
"We just have to play defense," Rose said, via ESPN. "It seemed like everyone I was covering tonight made a tough shot on me and I just have to do a better job of contesting shots."
The season is just three games old for the Wolves, but so far they're surrendering an average of 125 points per game. That's not a typo.
Dallas isn't a playoff-caliber team, but they are improved after signing DeAndre Jordan and drafting Luka Doncic third overall. Jordan had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks while Doncic scored 26 points in his home debut.
The Wolves are back at home for a game Monday against the Indiana Pacers.