Rookie sensation Luka Doncic drained the game-winning 3-pointer, scored a team-high 29 points and finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a rare road win, 119-115, on Friday night to snap the Minnesota Timberwolves' three-game win streak.
Doncic, the second-leading vote-getter in the Western Conference so far, went toe to toe with the Wolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, who finished with a game-high 30 points, plus 11 rebounds and four blocks. Doncic's game-winner, shot over Towns' outstretched arm, swished through with 22.9 seconds left for a 117-115 lead. It came just seconds after he threw away an inbounds pass with Minnesota leading 115-114. But the Wolves gave it right back to set up the 19-year-old's heroics.
With one possession left to tie or take the lead, Wolves forward Dario Saric, 0-for-5 from the floor, passed up an open 3-pointer. He threw that ball to Derrick Rose, who drove, but his pass was tipped. A scramble ensued and Towns was whistled for a foul, sending Harrison Barnes to the free throw to put the game away.
Minnesota's newfound good vibes following the firing coach Tom Thibodeau and a three-game win streak came to a screeching halt against the league's worst road team. Dallas improved to 4-18 on the road and is 2-0 against the Wolves this season.
Andrew Wiggins, coming off a 40-point performance, finished with 17 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Josh Okogie had 15 points and Rose had 21 off the bench. Dallas led by as many as 15 late in the second quarter and 61-50 at halftime. Then came a wild, back-and-forth third quarter. The Wolves used a 13-0 run to tie the score at 63-63, then Dallas went on a 12-2 run, followed by an 8-0 Wolves run. But Dallas scored the next six points for an 85-78 lead after three.
The Mavs built a 102-92 lead with 6:28 left in the fourth before a 15-5 Wolves burst. Minnesota led by one point three times in the final minute, but couldn't finish the job. The Mavericks' Barnes contributed 23 points and J.J. Barea had 16 points and seven assists before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injured right ankle. Dwight Powell had 15 points off the bench and rookie Jalen Brunson had nine points, all on 3-pointers.
(With inputs from agencies.)