Dallas (15-9) at Minnesota (15-9)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Thu Dec 18, 2003
  • TV: TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Sam Cassell has provided Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves with something they’ve sorely lacked—a second option.

Cassell looks to continue helping Garnett carry the load when the Timberwolves welcome the Dallas Mavericks to the Target Center.

Cassell, acquired in a trade from Milwaukee this past offseason, scored a team-high 25 points and Garnett added 19 and 13 rebounds Tuesday as the Timberwolves improved to 6-1 in December with a 92-75 rout of the Houston Rockets.

Known for his fearlessness in big situations, Cassell has helped take some of the heat off Garnett, who has been the Timberwolves’ go-to player since entering the league in 1995.

Cassell went 11-for-15 from the floor Tuesday, and handed out six assists. He led Minnesota in scoring for the third straight game, a rarity for any player other than Garnett on the Minnesota roster.

”(Cassell) is making it a lot easier on me,” said Garnett, who still leads the team in scoring and rebounding.

Garnett, Cassell and Latrell Sprewell, another offseason acquisition, have accounted for 1,461 of Minnesota’s 2,244 points (65.1 percent) this season.

Antoine Walker put his much-publicized return to Boston behind him Wednesday, but not in the fashion he would have preferred.

Walker managed seven points, seven rebounds and eight assists in his first game at FleetCenter since being dealt to Dallas from Boston on Oct. 20. He also watched as Paul Pierce rose over him to hit the game-winning jumper with 20 seconds to play.

Walker had one final chance to leave Boston with a win, but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points for Dallas, which slipped out of a first-place tie with San Antonio in the Midwest Division. Both the Mavericks and Timberwolves are just a half-game behind the defending NBA champion Spurs.

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