Edwards leads Timberwolves past flustered Mavericks 116-106
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anthony Edwards had 27 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 116-106 victory on Monday over the unglued Dallas Mavericks, who lost star Luca Doncic and coach Jason Kidd to successive ejections late in the third quarter.
Naz Reid pitched in 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who kept up their energy from a franchise-record 150-point performance to beat Chicago a night earlier.
“It didn’t feel like a back-to-back,” coach Chris Finch said.
Despite the absence of standout big men Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns and three key reserves, the Timberwolves were a confident and crisp team on both ends of the court.
“That’s the biggest thing, playing for each other,” Reid said. “Everybody wants to see the next guy happy. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.”
Doncic had a season-low 19 points — 14 below his average — on 5-for-17 shooting to match his season-worst percentage (29.4). The triple-double machine and league’s second-leading scorer was whistled for consecutive technicals after Randy Bullock was called for a foul on Edwards.
Doncic, who played on a strained quadriceps that kept him out of the 100-99 overtime loss at Cleveland on Saturday, looked legitimately confused by the punishment and had to be pointed toward the tunnel to exit the court.
“I deserved the first one. I’m not going to lie. But for sure not the second one,” Doncic said. “I was really shocked when I was ejected.”
Then Kidd lost it and received the same fate. He had to be restrained by an assistant as he went after referee Nick Buchert with some animated feedback.
Kidd fulfilled his postgame media obligation, but declined to take questions from reporters.
“I already gave up money, so I don’t want to give up any more,” Kidd said. “They were the better team tonight, and we’ll go from there. Thanks for showing up.”
Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points and seven assists, and Christian Wood chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, who stay in town for a rematch on Wednesday against a Wolves team on a three-game winning streak.
The Mavericks played without four of their top nine scorers: Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness), Josh Green (sprained elbow), Maxi Kleber (torn hamstring) and Dwight Powell (bruised thigh). Then Dorrian Finney-Smith (adductor strain) was injured late in the third quarter.
Wood started next to Doncic for the first time since he arrived in a trade this summer with Houston, but he had trouble guarding Reid in the paint. The Mavericks were outscored 36-14 in the second quarter. Everyone beside Doncic combined to shoot 1 for 10 from 3 in the period.
Back-to-back 3s by Jaden McDaniels and Edwards closed the half for the Timberwolves on a 21-5 run. They built their lead as big as 21 points before the Mavericks really melted down.
The Wolves were down Gobert (sprained ankle) for the third straight game. Kyle Anderson (back spasms) was a new scratch, joining Towns (strained calf) and backups Taurean Prince (shoulder subluxation) and Jordan McLaughlin (strained calf) on longer-term absences.
Edwards has begun to find his spark, coincidentally or not without the big men, on both ends of the court while taking on a more vocal leadership rol.e
“They’re just trusting in me and believing in me,” said Edwards, who went hard to the rim and was rewarded with a 10-for-11 effort from the free-throw line.
“That’s the most happy I’ve seen him in a while,” Reid said. “That’s where it starts.”
Reid’s 3-point attempt with 1:03 left rolled off the rim. That would’ve given him a career-high 30 points and awarded Edwards a 10th assist for the triple-double.
Mavericks: Doncic had six rebounds and seven assists in 28 minutes. … Davis Bertans went 6 for 9 from 3-point range for 18 points off the bench.
Timberwolves: Edwards, who’s not yet halfway through his third season, passed Anthony Peeler for third place on the franchise’s all-time list for made 3-pointers (466). …
After the rematch, Dallas goes to Houston for a game on Friday and Minnesota travels to play Boston on the same night.
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