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Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks

Team Totals: Wolves 104.3, Mavs 106.3

Injury Report: Mike Conley (Q, calf), Luka Doncic (Q, knee/ankle), Maxi Kleber (Q, shoulder), Dereck Lively II (D, neck)

Mavs projected starters: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Jones Jr., P.J. Washington, Daniel Gafford

Wolves projected starters: Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert

Offensive Ranks: Mavs 8th, Wolves 16th

Defensive Ranks: Mavs 17th, Wolves 1st

Kidd quotes: Said they know what to do with their quarterbacks (Luka and Kyrie), said they’ll see how Lively feels on Monday, said Jaden Hardy stayed ready and they trust him to score and play-make, said Hardy has been stepping up for a teammate who is not playing well, said they trust Dwight Powell to give them minutes without Lively and Powell will be ready to play without Lively.

Finch quotes: Said their offense is failing them right now, said they had a breakdown on Washington’s 3-pointer and that cost them, said they have to keep fighting and they’ll be ready to play on Tuesday, said Ant playing with a burst is what they have been missing, said he thought KAT was rushing in Game 2 and not so much in Game 3, said Anderson “is a smart offensive player” and he should have played him more, said they put Conley on Kyrie to give them more size as a low man in PNR action.

Stats and Notes:

Rim points per game: Mavs 20th, Wolves 12th

Rim points allowed per game: Mavs 16th, Wolves 1st

Catch and shoot points per game: Mavs 17th, Wolves 21st

Catch and shoot points allowed per game: Mavs 17th, Wolves 5th

PNR handler scoring per game: Mavs 9th, Wolves 25th

PNR handler scoring allowed per game: Mavs 15th, Wolves 20th

Transition scoring per game: Mavs 8th, Wolves 25th

Transition scoring allowed per game: Mavs 18th,  Wolves 7th

*The fourth quarter of Game 3 is just everything. In the fourth, Luka and Kyrie combined for 21 points on a 90.0 eFG% while KAT and Ant combined for four points on a 28.6 eFG%. That’s the game. It’s not a big surprise to see the Mavs close because of their star guards, and they ranked third in clutch time at +20.5 during the regular season (23-9 in clutch games, 127.1 O rating in clutch). The Mavs went 5-of-5 in the fourth on their non-paint shots. It was just a masterpiece. On the whole for the Mavs on offense, they had a 121.3 halfcourt O rating and a 128.9 O rating overall. They destroyed the Wolves with their 39 spot-up points and they were dynamite on the ball. This was the first time they didn’t have much rim pressure with 21 points, which is way down from the 94 combined they had in the first two games. The Wolves had more help on the ball, but it didn’t matter with the Mavs going for 1.57 PPP on their dribble jumpers. Just masterful execution from Dallas. The Mavs also have killed their opponents with alley-oop plays with 48 in the playoffs (rest of the league at 59, stat via ESPN and Second Spectrum). For the Wolves on offense, it’s really all about certain players just air-balling, and I’ll get to that in a few sentences here. Looking at the macro stats, there is just no transition offense at all with just 11 points in Game 3 (10 in Game 2). The Mavs doubled up the dribble jumper efficiency with the Wolves at just 0.77. The Wolves were able to finally get their rim scoring going in terms of volume and efficiency. In Game 1, the Wolves were at 1.12 PPP on rim shots for 28 points, Game 2 was 0.94 PPP for 33 points, and Game 3 went all the way up to 1.36 PPP for 42 points. The Wolves had a lot of the stuff they needed, but the shotmaking and clutch play was too good from the Mavs.

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