The Mavs look to win their seventh straight when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Dallas (13-4) is looking to close a three-game homestand on a high note after defeating Houston 101-91 on Monday. Nowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Shawn Marion(notes) had 14 points and 10 boards and Caron Butler(notes) scored 13 of his 19 points during a decisive 17-6 third-quarter run.
Butler is averaging 13.9 points, the second-lowest mark of his career, but he seems to be heating up. He scored a season-high 23 in the previous game, a 106-95 win over Miami on Saturday.
“When a guy gets going, our guys do a good job of finding him,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We aren’t doing a lot of play-calling right now.”
Nowitzki has led Dallas with 27.5 points per game during the winning streak, but his teammates are playing a big role as well, helping Dallas average 105.3 points the last four contests. Marion has scored 14.8 points per game during that stretch - 4.0 above his season average.
“Everybody is coming into their own a little bit right now and we’re really supporting each other and we’re holding each other accountable when we need to,” Marion said. “We’re playing as a complete team right now and we’re competing at a high level.”
The high-scoring Mavs will face a Minnesota team that is among the NBA’s worst on defense, allowing 110.2 points a contest. Its last eight opponents have reached the 100-point mark.
The Timberwolves (4-13) are coming off a 104-94 loss to Golden State on Saturday. The Warriors went 12 of 18 from 3-point range and Minnesota turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 32 points for the Warriors.
“I was disappointed with our focus and effort,” coach Kurt Rambis said. “For the first time all season long, I don’t think our guys were there.”
The Timberwolves held a 55-32 rebounding edge.
Minnesota has lost four in a row and six of seven, although it managed to take San Antonio to overtime before falling last Wednesday.
Love, averaging a league-best 14.9 rebounds, might have trouble putting up those kinds of numbers against Dallas, which has outrebounded its last four opponents by 6.8 per game.
Dallas has won 15 of 16 matchups with Minnesota, though the loss came Feb. 5 at home by a 117-108 score.
Nowitzki has scored at least 20 points in 12 straight games against the Timberwolves, averaging 24.8.