Marion, Mavs escape Minnesota with win
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Shawn Marion scored a season-high 32 points as the Dallas Mavericks held off a furious second half surge to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-98, from Target Center.
Marion was also part of some controversy at the end of the game.
Ricky Rubio was fouled by Jose Calderon with three seconds left with the Mavs having a foul to give. On the ensuing inbounds play, Kevin Love received the ball in the corner, attempted a game-winning 3, but Marion clearly hacked his arm in the act as the ball flew into the air and the buzzer sounded.
The referees' whistles were silent as Love stood on the baseline in disbelief and Dallas held on.
"I thought it was pretty obvious, just look at the replay," Love said of the final play. "If you look at the replay it was obvious that he got arm. I didn't know how to react. I couldn't yell at him (referee). That wasn't going to do anything, I just walked off the court with my head up."
Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16 points, while Brandan Wright scored 14 points off the bench for Dallas, winners in two straight.
Love dumped in a game-high 36 points with 11 rebounds, his seventh straight double-double and league-leading 28th overall.
Kevin Martin contributed 19 points, while Nikola Pekovic also added a double- double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Minnesota trailed by 19 at the break and sizzled in the third quarter to get back in the game, outscoring the visitors 38-19 in the frame.
Dallas' DeJuan Blair made a jumper to push the lead back to the halftime margin when Minnesota unleashed a 15-2 surge behind seven points from Corey Brewer.
The Wolves used a 7-0 sprint later in the frame to pull within four, 77-73. Love and Brewer scored Minnesota's final 15 points in the stanza and the game was tied at 81 heading into the fourth courtesy of a full-court chest pass from Love to Brewer.
The duo combined to score 26 of the Timberwolves' 38 points in the third.
Love picked up right where he left off as he scored the first five in the quarter for Minnesota, including a top of the key 3 that gave the Wolves an 86-85 lead. It was their first lead since the score was 11-10 early in the first quarter.
Marion buried a corner 3 to regain the lead for Dallas, 92-90, with just under five minutes left and he hit another triple over a minute later to extend the advantage.
The 3s were part of a 10-0 run that Nowitzki capped with a jumper from the wing.
Love ended the sequence with an alley-oop slam from Pekovic with 2:50 remaining in the game.
Pekovic helped trim the deficit to two, 98-96, after a layup. Samuel Dalembert followed with two at the line to make it a four point game with 47.5 seconds left.
Pekovic answered with a layup from a cutting Rubio to make it a one-possession contest, and Monta Ellis missed on the ensuing time down the floor before the controversial ending.
Minnesota trailed 33-30 in the second when the Mavs went on a 12-3 run to take a 45-33 lead. Marion scored five straight during the spurt and Ellis capped it with a three-point play.
Dallas outscored the hosts 13-4 in the final 2:29 of the frame to take a 62-43 lead into the locker room. Marion tied his season-high of 21 points when he nailed a jumper with one second remaining to cap the first half scoring.
"I was just taking what was given to me," said Marion. "My teammates were finding me in great spots and we were just looking for each other more and it opened the game on both ends of the floor."
Both teams had trouble hitting shots from beyond the arc with Dallas shooting 25 percent (6-of-24) and Minnesota making 26.1 percent (6-of-23) ... Brewer finished with 16 points ... Rubio had 13 assists ... Ellis had just nine points but added 10 helpers ... Minnesota outrebounded Dallas 46-39.
12/31 00:47:41 ET