Preview: Minnesota's offense away from Target Center has been a problem. It averages 92.8 points on the road vs. 100.3 at home, the biggest such differential in the NBA. And this isn't an opponent to get well against; the Mavericks have held the Wolves below 100 points in seven of their past eight meetings, allowing just 89.4 ppg.
Players to watch: Just what the Wolves didn't need to see: a motivated Josh Howard, burning to prove the Western Conference coaches wrong for not voting him onto the All-Star team as a reserve. The rest of the Mavericks are chapped on Howard's behalf, too -- they don't appreciate the fact that San Antonio has two All-Stars to their one (Dirk Nowitzki). And even if Howard gets added by Commissioner David Stern as an injury replacement for, say, Yao Ming or Carlos Boozer, it might come too late to cool him off. Howard averages 19.4 points and 7.2 rebounds, and Dallas is 26-3 when he scores at least 15 points.
Numbers: Nowitzki averaged 28.7 points and 50.2 percent shooting in January and already has as many double-doubles in 47 games (29) as he had in 71 games last season. ... The Wolves are 7-19 this season when they don't break 100.
Injuries: None for either team.
|Boston - WP: K. Couch||11||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis||8|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka||1||FINAL|
|Minnesota - WP: T. Milone||3|
|Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen||10||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers||4|
|Oakland - WP: J. Fuller||13||FINAL|
|LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole||10|