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Nowitzki, Terry push Mavericks past Timberwolves

Nov 2, 2008 - 3:12 AM By James Beilby PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry combined for 40 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-85, on Saturday.

Dallas continued its dominance over Minnesota, having won its last nine games against the Timberwolves.

Nowitzki collected 21 points and six rebounds while Terry added 19 points, four steals and three assists off the bench.

"Terry played really well tonight," Minnesota guard Rashad McCants said. "As soon as he came in, they go right to him. If you don't get him in foul trouble and make him play defense, you're going to have a tough night. That's what he did for them tonight. He hit big shots and the outcome was they got a win."

Josh Howard led the Mavericks with 10 first-quarter points as Dallas forged a 31-20 lead, thanks in part to a 21-4 run early in the quarter.

Minnesota got back in the game in the second quarter thanks in part to McCants, who scored nine of his 18 points in the period. Rookie Kevin Love also continued his efficient play, scoring nine points and grabbing a pair of rebounds in 12 minutes as Minnesota closed its deficit to 53-49.

"We had to play a physical game to beat these guys," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Kevin Love played a big role in the second quarter of them having a big quarter and us being back on our heels a little."

All of Minnesota's 11 second-quarter field goals came from in the paint.

"In the second quarter, we didn't do anything inside," Carlisle said. "We got our (butts) kicked. They had 22 points in the paint in the second quarter, which is amazing. I've never seen anything close to that."

After a third quarter that saw just 19 combined points scored, Dallas took control of the game in the early stages of the fourth quarter, opening an 11-point lead with 8:30 remaining.

"The beginning of fourth quarters on the road are always important," Carlisle said. "I thought our second group's ability to get stops and execute offensively was pivotal to the game."

Minnesota got within 88-83 with 2:52 to play after a jumper by Ryan Gomes, but a steal by Jason Kidd bracketed by a basket and a pair of free throws by Nowitzki secured the victory for Dallas.

"Dirk came back in the game and made a couple of huge plays," Carlisle said. "He hit a rainbow jumper and then got fouled on a big play with a couple of minutes left. We were able to get it done, but it is never easy."

Al Jefferson scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and led Minnesota to a 44-32 scoring margin in the paint.