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Brunson Scores 26, Replacements Help Mavericks Beat Wolves

DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 26 points, Dorian Finney-Smith came alive in the second half and the Dallas Mavericks, with a boost from two newly signed players, defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-102 in a battle of attrition Tuesday night.

A total of nine players, including three starters, missed the game because they are in the NBA's health and safety protocol.

Brunson scored 16 points in the first half. Finney-Smith had just four at halftime, but added 15 in the second half, including two 3-pointers in a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that wiped out Minnesota's last lead in the game.

Dwight Powell scored 15 points, Boban Marjanovich had 10 and Sterling Brown combined 12 points with 11 rebounds in his first start this season.

Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with and 26 points and 14 rebounds. Malik Beasley scored 22, D'Angelo Russell had 14 points and 12 assists and Jaden McDaniels scored 11.

The Mavericks got a boost from two players signed since they lost just two days before at Minnesota. Theo Pinson played 22 minutes, scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and added three assists and four steals. In his 16 minutes, Marquese Chriss scored six points, including a thunderous dunk in the 10-0 run, and took down eight rebounds.

Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 19: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a play against the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter of the game at Target Center on December 19, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks 111-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

In the first quarter, Minnesota made 65% (13 for 20) of its field goal attempts and scored 35 points — and led Dallas by only one point. Towns didn't miss a shot and scored 12 points. In the second, the Timberwolves made just 28% of their field goal attempts and were outscored 27-15 as the Mavericks took a 61-50 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Mavericks ran to a 17-point lead, 79-62, but Minnesota came back with a 13-0 run. The Wolves led 94-91 in the fourth before 3-pointers by Brown and Finney-Smith gave the Mavericks a 97-95 they didn't lose.


Timberwolves: Minnesota signed F Chris Silva and G Rayjon Tucker, who had been playing in the G-League, to 10-day contracts under the COVID-related hardship allowance.

Silva arrived with 59 NBA games on his resume, and Tucker with 34. ... The Wolves were without starters Patrick Beverly and Jarred Vanderbilt as well as Anthony Edwards, John Okogie and Taurean Prince because they were in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Mavericks: Hardaway was added Tuesday afternoon to the list of players in the health and safety protocol, joining Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock and Josh Green. ... Doncic (left ankle injury) missed his fifth consecutive game, and Porzingis (toe) joined him on the injury list on Tuesday. Coach Jason Kidd said, "We're hopeful that (Doncic) is back for Thursday. Eugene (Omoruyi) and Willie (Cauley-Stein) remain out." ... he Mavericks added 6-5 swingman Pinson and 6-9 Chriss to 10-day contracts under the COVID-related hardship allowance. Chriss previously played in parts of five NBA seasons and Pinson in three.


Timberwolves: Complete a two-game trip at Utah on Thursday.

Mavericks: Host the Bucks on Thursday in the second of two home games.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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