Is this it? Ricky Rubio's return from March knee surgery? Very likely, although a decision likely won't be made until a meeting of medical and basketball staff earlier in the day. ... The Mavericks have gone 11-12 without star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who has begun running but remains out since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19.... Dallas has won 19 of the last 23 regular-season meetings, but the Wolves have won three of the last four. The Wolves won the season's first matchup, 90-82 at Dallas on Nov. 12.
PLAYER TO WATCH
With Nowitzki out, guard O.J. Mayo -- a Timberwolf for a few hours on draft night 2008 -- has stepped forth in a big way. Signed last summer for what essentially is a one-year, $4 million deal, Mayo already has three 30-point games and entered the weekend averaging 20.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
INJURIES RUBIO (KNEE) IS PROBABLE. G MALCOLM LEE (KNEE), G BRANDON ROY (KNEE) AND G CHASE BUDINGER (KNEE) ALL ARE OUT. NOWITZKI IS OUT. MAVS F JAE CROWDER (ILLNESS) IS DAY-TO-DAY.