The Dallas Mavericks will aim to keep their emotions in check on Wednesday when they attempt to salvage a split of their two-game series against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
Luka Doncic and coach Jason Kidd were ejected late in the third quarter of Dallas’ 116-106 setback to Minnesota on Monday. The loss was the Mavericks’ fifth in seven games overall and 11th in 14 road contests this season.
Doncic received the early dismissal after barking at crew chief Rodney Mott about a perceived foul. Mott responded by whistling Doncic for a pair of technicals, abruptly ending his night on the floor.
“I probably deserved the one, but two — for sure, no,” Doncic said. “Two is just a little bit too much. But I deserve the first one, I’m not going to lie. For sure, not the second. I was really shocked I was ejected.”
Doncic finished with a season-low 19 points on just 5-of-17 shooting from the floor.
Kidd essentially followed Doncic out the door, but not before getting in a few parting shots to referee Nick Buchert.
The Mavericks’ second-year coach declined to take questions after the game. He did show up at the postgame press conference to offer a statement, however.
“I’m here because I have to be here,” Kidd said, referring to the NBA’s media requirements. “I already gave up money (with the technicals), so I don’t want to give up any more. So, no questions. Just, we’ll go back and look at the tape, see how we can get better. They were the better team tonight, and we’ll go from there. Thanks for showing up.”
Making matters worse for the Mavericks was the departure of Dorian Finney-Smith, who exited late in the third quarter with a right adductor strain. Finney-Smith said he first sustained the injury during Saturday’s 100-99 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers before aggravating it early in the second quarter on Monday. He’s been ruled out for Wednesday.
“I try to fight through it, but feel like I probably made it worse,” Finney-Smith said, per the Dallas Morning News. “It takes a lot for me to get out of there.”
Spencer Dinwiddie sank five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points for Dallas, which will need to slow down Anthony Edwards in a bid to snap Minnesota’s three-game winning streak on Wednesday.
“They’re just trusting in me and believing in me,” said Edwards, who recorded 27 points, a season-best 13 rebounds and nine assists on Monday. He is averaging 27.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and nine assists over his last three games.
Naz Reid continued his strong play in the absence of Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns by contributing 27 points and 13 rebounds. Gobert has missed three straight games with a sprained left ankle, while Towns has been sidelined since sustaining a calf injury on Nov. 28.
Jaylen Nowell scored 18 points off the bench and Austin Rivers added 16 for the Timberwolves, one night after Minnesota set a franchise record for points (150) and field goals (57) in a rout of the Chicago Bulls.
–Field Level Media