Luka Doncic scored 26 points in the teenager’s home debut, Dennis Smith Jr. converted a tiebreaking three-point play with six seconds left and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 140-136 in a wild offensive game Saturday night.
DeAndre Jordan had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Mavericks in his first game in front of the fans who used to boo him unmercifully after the Texas native backed out on a pledge to join Dallas in free agency three years ago.
The Timberwolves didn’t seem to miss Jimmy Butler much after letting the disgruntled guard stay home to rest on the second night of their first back-to-back this season. Minnesota matched the most points Dallas has given up a first quarter while going up 46-37.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 31 points, including an off-balance 3-pointer that helped get the Timberwolves close in the final minute.
Derrick Rose scored 28 for Minnesota but got beat on the decisive play by Smith, who hit the jumper over Rose and drew the foul after Taj Gibson hit a tying jump hook in the lane with 27 seconds left.
Smith’s free throw put the Mavericks up 137-134. He scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Doncic, the No. 3 overall pick and second-youngest to play in a game for the Mavericks, bounced back from a slow start and finished 8 of 16 from the field and 4 of 9 from 3-point range.
With 40-year-old fellow European Dirk Nowitzki watching from the bench in a light blue suit while deal with an ankle issue, Doncic missed his first three shots and committed two quick turnovers.
But the 19-year-old sparked a second-quarter flurry of 15 points in the final 6:41 of the quarter with a floater that drew a foul, although he missed the free throw. He poked away a loose ball and hit a second straight 3-pointer to give the Mavericks their first tie at 54-all.
The Mavericks, who trailed by 15 in the first quarter, took their first lead at 62-61 in the second quarter on Jordan’s layup on an alley-oop pass from J.J. Barea, who finished with 11 assists.
Timberwolves: The Timberwolves shot 63 percent while building their first-quarter lead. … Jeff Teague had 22 points and a team-high nine assists. … Andrew Wiggins scored 19 before fouling out in the final seconds.
Mavericks: Harrison Barnes (right hamstring strain) and Devin Harris (left hamstring strain) joined Nowitzki on the sidelines. … The Mavericks set a franchise record with 50 3-point attempts. … Wesley Matthews and Dwight Powell scored 19 points apiece. Barea had 12. … Jordan and Powell combined to go 14 of 17 from the field.
Timberwolves: Indiana at home on Monday.
Mavericks: Chicago at home on Monday.
Source: The Associated Press