MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki welcomed Kevin Love back from his two-game suspension with a season-high 33 points, winning the matchup of Western Conference All-Star power forwards and helping the Dallas Mavericks stave off a Minnesota rally with 104-97 victory over the Timberwolves on Friday.
Nowitzki topped 24 points for the fourth straight game by shooting 11 for 19 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Love finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds, going 14 for 14 from the free-throw line, and sparked a late-third-quarter surge by the Wolves to slash a 17-point deficit to 78-75 on Nikola Pekovic’s putback to open the fourth.
But they missed a chance to sweep the season series from the Mavericks for the first time since 1995-96.
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