Ryan Saunders debuted with a loss in front of home fans, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight with 119-115.
The son of a deceased Flip Saunders one of the legends of the league and the person who made Timberwolves what they are today, was stopped by amazing Luka Doncic. The young Slovenian player was near a triple-double, but what is more important, was calm in all of the critical situations.
With 23 seconds to go, the Wolves were one point up, and Doncic made a three-pointer to give the lead to the guests, eventually deciding this game.
Luka Doncic with the clutch 3!
Last 3 games:
29 PTS, 12 AST, 8 REB
30 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
27 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 12, 2019
Dallas was up throughout most of the event, having plus 14 on several occasions in the second quarter, and finishing the first half with 11 buckets ahead. However, the home team opens the second half with a 13-0 run and ties the game, but Mavs immediately respond with 12-2 series, and got back to a safe distance.
Throughout the rest of the third period and the majority of fourth, they were up by several points, until Minnesota scored 8 unanswered points with 2:47 until the go, and leveled the score at 107-107.
The contest entered a tight ending, with teams constantly taking the lead as they had the possession. Everything was finally cleared with Doncic’s three.
The Timberwolves lost the ball afterward, and Harrison Barnes netted both of his free throws, this giving a two-possession lead for his team.
The biggest candidate for the rookie of the year award dropped 28 points, had 12 assists and 8 rebounds. Harrison Barnes was right behind him with 23 buckets, shooting 4 of 7 for three and Dwight Powell with 15 and J.J, Barea with 16, were excellent off the bench.
LUKA THROWS IT DOWN! pic.twitter.com/eCFLtjGoXT
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 12, 2019
Mavs had only 7 turnovers throughout the whole game.
Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns had a double-double for the hosts, 30 buckets and 11 boards, along with 4 rejections. Derrick Rose came back after several games, and scored 21 coming off the bench. Taj Gibson had 15 rebounds and 10 points.
Despite having an advantage in the air, 53-43 in rebounds, the Timberwolves couldn’t use that in their favor.
They now have the same record as the Mavs 20 wins and 22 losses and go to New Orleans this Sunday. Mavs are hosting the champions, the Golden State Warriors on the same day.