for this game

Mavericks try to get on track against Timberwolves

Nov 1, 2008 - 10:40 AM Dallas (0-1) at Minnesota (0-1), 8:00pm EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Rick Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks had an extra day to prepare for their 2008-09 season opener. The results were less than overwhelming nonetheless.

The Mavericks were one of the final two teams to debut, but fell at home to the Houston Rockets in Carlisle's first regular-season game as the team's head coach. They will try to get on the winning track on Saturday as they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Thursday's Southwest Division slugfest was all it was cracked up to be from an entertainment standpoint, with the Rockets coming out on top of the Mavericks, 112-102. Houston's new frontcourt duo of Yao Ming and Ron Artest were as good as advertised, combining for 59 points and 20 rebounds.

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard outdid them, posting 64 and 18, but the Mavericks' supporting cast came up short. The team shot just 42 percent (32-of-84) from the field, including 4-of-16 (25 percent) from the arc.

Carlisle took over at the helm in May for the fired Avery Johnson. His Mavericks dropped four of their last five games this preseason.

The Timberwolves, still in rebuilding mode after last year's offseason trade of franchise player Kevin Garnett, showed signs of promise in their season opener. Forward Al Jefferson, a rising star in the Western Conference, collected 21 points and 10 rebounds as the T-Wolves edged the Sacramento Kings, 98-96.

Six different Minnestota players scored in double figures as the team put up a surprisingly efficient performance. Rookie forward Kevin Love nearly posted a double-double of his own, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds.