7:30 p.m. • At Dallas • American Airlines Center • FSN • 830-AM
Preview: The schedule only gets more difficult for the struggling Timberwolves, riding their first three-game losing streak of the season and losers of five of their past six games. Dallas had won five of seven games entering its game Friday at Atlanta. Then the Wolves play at Oklahoma City on Sunday and against San Antonio in Mexico City on Wednesday before hosting Miami a week from Saturday. Some good news? The Wolves will be playing a Mavs team on the back end of back-to-back games.
Players to watch: Wolves F Kevin Love had 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists vs. Dallas on Nov. 8. PG Ricky Rubio is coming off a double-double against Denver, one in which he shot 6-for-12 from the field. But he also had seven turnovers. C Nikola Pekovic has double-doubles in his past two games. SG Kevin Martin is coming off a 29-point performance. Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki (20.8 points per game) just moved ahead of Kevin Garnett into 14th place on the league's all-time scoring list. G Monta Ellis is averaging 22.3 points and 5.6 assists.
Numbers: The 8-9 Wolves have the same record through 17 games as they had last season. The Wolves are 2-6 on the road — where they have lost five straight — while the Mavericks are 8-1 at home.
Injuries: Wolves F Chase Budinger (knee surgery) and C Ronny Turiaf (elbow) are out. Dallas G Devin Harris (left foot surgery) and F Brandan Wright (shoulder) are out.