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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 10th (All times eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (15-11) at Minnesota Timberwolves (13-13), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves will have Kevin Love back in the lineup tonight versus the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center after serving a two-game suspension for stomping on Houston's Luis Scola during the third quarter of Saturday's 100-91 win.

Love, who leads the Wolves in both scoring (25.0 ppg) and rebounding (13.7), missed Tuesday's 86-84 win over Sacramento and Wednesday's 85-80 loss at Memphis. The All-Star forward should provide a big lift for a Minnesota team that had its three-game winning streak cut short against the Grizzlies.

J.J. Barea ended with 17 points and six assists, while Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams each scored 13 points for the Timberwolves, who got 10 points and nine rebounds from Nikola Pekovic and shot just 39.2 percent.

"We didn't come out with energy," Barea said on the team's website. "That put us in a deep hole. With teams like this, you can't fall behind."

The Wolves have won two in a row at home and will also welcome the New York Knicks to town on Saturday. They are 7-8 in the Twin Cities in 2011-12.

Dallas, meanwhile, will wrap up a three-game road trip this evening and put the brakes on a three-game slide with Wednesday's 105-95 triumph at Denver thanks to Dirk Nowitzki's 25 points and nine rebounds.

Vince Carter had 17 points and both Shawn Marion and Rodrigue Beaubois registered 13 for the defending NBA champion Mavericks, who have won seven of their last 11 games and improved to 6-6 away from Big D.

"When you're dealing with the altitude and all that," said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle, "we had to have a lot of guys in and out of the game, and a lot of guys contributing and we did and that's the reason we won."

After tonight's game in Minnesota, the Mavs will return to Dallas for a three- game homestand versus the Blazers, Clippers and Nuggets. Nowitzki is averaging 26.3 points per game in his last three contests for a Dallas team that is 7-1 when scoring 100-plus points. Nowitzki has 23,179 career points and needs 156 to pass Boston legend Robert Parish (23,334) for 20th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. He is averaging 22.0 ppg in 46 career meetings with Minnesota and was just named to his 11th straight All-Star game.

On the injury front for the Mavs, guards Jason Kidd (calf) and Jason Terry (hip) are questionable for tonight. Kidd has missed six straight games and Terry played less than 28 minutes at Denver, scoring a season-low five points.

Dallas has lost the first two meetings with the Timberwolves this season, but is still a gaudy 18-3 in the past 21 matchups between the teams. Minnesota halted a nine-game home losing streak in this series with a 99-82 triumph at the Target Center on New Year's Day.

The Wolves haven't posted a three-game winning streak in this series since ripping off seven wins over the Mavs from Dec. 23, 1995 - Feb. 27, 1997.

02/10 10:47:48 ET