Dallas, TX – Darren Collison scored 23 points to go with nine assists and Elton Brand chipped in with 20 points off the bench to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 113-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
O.J. Mayo also scored 20 points and dished out nine assists while Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Vince Carter added 10 points apiece for the Mavericks, who have won three straight.
"We're playing with more familiarity with one another, with more familiarity with the system," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle remarked. "We've been doing some good things in that area. The challenge will be continuing."
Nikola Pekovic notched a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and J.J. Barea poured in 21 points off the bench for the Timberwolves, who have dropped four straight games.
"We started off pretty good and then we got into a little trouble. They wanted to run and earlier on we didn't do a good job full balance offensively," said Wolves coach Terry Porter. "They got into the break and they really attacked us at the rim early like we thought they would. We did a good job fighting back at the end, but we just ran out of gas."
Porter is filling in for head coach Rick Adelman who has missed the team's last five games for personal reasons.
Dallas raced out to a 12-4 lead early in the first and a 10-7 swing gave the Mavs a 22-11 lead with 3:20 left. Minnesota, though, was able to cut the lead to 26-19 entering the second.
The Wolves opened the second with a 10-6 run to make it 32-29. The teams traded blows from there until a Carter three-point play sparked a 15-7 burst to give Dallas a 55-45 lead the break.
The lead swelled as large as 23 in the third and the Mavs led 91-70 entering the final stage.
Minnesota was able to pull within 104-95 in the fourth, but the Mavs closed the game on a 9-3 run to seal up the win.
Brand's 20 points were a season-high ... The Mavs shot a blistering 59.7 percent (46-for-77) from the floor and went 15-for-16 from the free throw line ... Barea's 21 points tied a season-high.