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T'Wolves Bite Mavericks In OT

Stephon Marbury made up for a lot of misses and a last-minute mistake with a record-setting performance in overtime Sunday.

Marbury's turnover with less than four seconds left in regulation gave the Dallas Mavericks a chance to win the game. But Michael Finley's buzzer-beater bounced off the rim, and Marbury scored a team-record nine points in the extra period as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks 105-99.

"After I made the turnover, I felt like I about gave the game away," said Marbury, who finished with 23 points. "I came out (in overtime) a lot more focused and had the mindset of taking over the game."

Marbury went 4-for-5 in overtime after making just six of 16 shots in regulation. He hit the shot that put the Wolves ahead for good, 93-91, with 1:36 left, then added a crucial three-point play six seconds later to make it 96-92.

"(The Mavericks) started putting more emphasis on rotating to stop Sam and Stephon took advantage of that and got aggressive taking the ball to the hole," said Minnesota coach Flip Saunders.

Reserves Sam Mitchell and Terry Porter led a charge that saw Minnesota's bench players outscore Dallas' 48-23. Mitchell had a season-high 25 points and nine rebounds, while Porter had 17 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for Minnesota, which won despite shooting 36 percent from the field.

Michael Finley scored 31 points to lead the Mavericks, who fell to 3-23 on the road after snapping a 22-game road losing streak Friday night at Indiana.

Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolves, but went just 6-for-20 from the field.

Injuries to Tom Gugliotta and Chris Carr have opened the door to more playing time for Mitchell and Porter, who played 38 and 42 minutes, respectively.

"Their bench did a good job," said Hubert Davis. "With Gugliotta out, they know they have to step it up and they did."

Mitchell scored seven points in an 18-6 run that gave Minnesota an 82-75 lead with 3:33 to play, but Davis led a Dallas charge that forced overtime.

Davis scored the first seven points of a 9-1 run capped by Finley's jumper from the corner that gave the Mavericks an 84-83 lead with 45.9 seconds to play.

Porter's 3-pointer put the Wolves back in front, 86-84, but Finley tied it with two free throws eight seconds later. Minnesota held for a last shot, but Marbury was called for traveling with 3.6 left. Finley's fall-away 20-footer at the buzzer over Garnett bounced off the rim.

Rookie Bubba Wells matched his career high, eight points, in the first quarter, as the Mavericks took a 22-15 lead. Minnesota went 5-for-29 (17 percent) in the period, but rallied in the second behind eight points from Mitchell.

An 8-0 run capped by a dunk by Garnett gave the Wolves a 30-29 lead with 3:34 left in the half, and the Wolves went into halftime leading 36-35.

Minnesota ran off the first nine points of the second half to build their bigget lead, 45-35.

Notes: Minnesota's Tom Gugliotta, who has missed six games with bone chips and spurs in his right ankle, will have treatment and more tests this week. Gugliotta underwent tests in Birmingham and Boston last week. ... Dallas, 19-22 against Minnesota, joins Vancouver as the only two Western Conference teams with losing records against the Wolves. ... Minnesota guard Reggie Jordan played the first half with a jersey that said "Jordon" on the back. He switched into a correctly-spelled jersey at halftime.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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