The Dallas Mavericks just keep rolling.
They attempt to match their season-high 13-game winning streak Tuesday when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Dallas (47-9), the top team in the NBA, came one win shy of tying a franchise record when it won 13 consecutive games Dec. 13-Jan. 5. The only longer run in club history was a 14-0 start to the 2002-03 season.
This season’s 13-game run ended with a Jan. 7 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Mavs have gone 19-1 since. They have won 12 in a row since a 96-85 defeat at Chicago on Jan. 25.
The Mavericks also extended their club-record home winning streak to 20 games Monday, when Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Jason Terry added 21 points in a 110-87 rout of Atlanta.
“When the ball is moving side to side so well, it’s fun basketball to play,” Terry said. “That’s what you see from this team consistently, night in and night out.”
Nowitzki is averaging 26.8 points and 9.3 boards during the overall 12-game winning streak, which equals the team’s second-longest run of the season from Nov. 9-Dec. 1. The Mavericks are the first team in NBA history with three winning streaks of 12 or more in a season.
Dallas, though, may have to continue its streak without Josh Howard, who had 20 points Monday before suffering a sprained right ankle when he landed on the foot of Atlanta’s Joe Johnson in the fourth quarter. X-rays were negative, but the swingman has been nursing a sore right ankle since Dallas’ 112-100 win over Miami on Thursday.
“Hopefully he should be OK,” Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said.
Dallas has won three games in a row against Minnesota - all at home - but Nowitzki has been held to 33 total points and 10 rebounds in two meetings this season. He had 23 points in Dallas’ last visit to the Target Center, a 91-78 loss on Jan. 4, 2006.
The Timberwolves (26-30) hope to build on Sunday’s 98-94 victory over Washington that halted a three-game slide and was the team’s first win after the All-Star break. Kevin Garnett had a stellar performance with 26 points and 17 rebounds, but also received strong support from his teammates as Ricky Davis finished with 27 points and Randy Foye added 13 and eight assists.
“I should expect that from those guys,” said Garnett, who is averaging 25.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in four games since the All-Star break. “Doing it on a consistent basis, that’s the challenge.”
Consistency has been a problem for Minnesota, which recovered after dropping the first two contests of its season-high five-game homestand. The Timberwolves close the homestand Friday against Northwest Division-leading Utah.