Timberwolves lose to Mavericks 100-86
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The Minnesota Timberwolves' loss 100-86 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday was a textbook example of an elite NBA team playing a clearly inferior opponent at home.
The Mavericks (14-4) exerted just enough energy to win handily without wearing themselves out for Friday's Western Conference showdown at Utah.
Much like a Nov. 19 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in which Matt Barnes had 24 points, the Wolves (4-14) were once again beaten by a team's bench, rather than their superstars.
The three leading scorers for the Mavericks all came off the bench. Shawn Marion led the way with 16, Jose Juan Barea added 14, Jason Terry with 12 and even former Wolf Brian Cardinal joined the fun with 6 of his own.
Mavericks ace Dirk Nowitzki had just 10 points -- 15 less than his season average -- in only 24 minutes on the court.
In total, the Maverick's bench scored 59. The Wolves starters scored 54.
Heading into Wednesday's game, the Wolves were 29th in the league in team field goal percentage and they did nothing to improve their ranking, shooting just 39%.
Love had his 13th double-double of the season, good for second in the NBA, with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Beasley shook off early foul trouble to lead the team in scoring with 16 points and three rebounds but failed to record an assist for the second time this season.
Rookie Wesley Johnson, a native of Texas, had to put in over 50 ticket requests for friends and family but had just five points and four fouls in 16 minutes -- a new career low for the fourth-overall draft pick.
The Wolves fall to 1-9 on the road and appeared to be once again lacking effort away from Target Center, a storyline that dominated the beginning of the season.
This all coming after a loss last Saturday night to the Golden State Warriors at home in which coach Kurt Rambis questioned his team's effort level after the game.
As the old saying goes, it doesn't get much easier from here, but then again, when you are one of the worst teams in the league, it usually doesn't. The Texas Two-Step continues for the Wolves Friday night against the Spurs in San Antonio before they return home to take on Cleveland Saturday night.