T'Wolves seek solid effort in Dallas

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Timberwolves are fading fast and have two tough games on the docket, starting with Saturday's road tilt against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

The Timberwolves will also visit the Oklahoma City Thunder and are winless in their last five road games. Minnesota is just 2-6 as the guest and has lost three straight overall and five of the last six games.

In a 117-110 home loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, Kevin Martin made 11-of-11 from the free throw line en route to 29 points, Nikola Pekovic contributed 21 points and 10 boards, and Kevin Love went for 19 points and 15 rebounds. Ricky Rubio finished with 17 points and 11 assists, but committed seven of his team's 17 turnovers.

Denver scored 25 points off of those turnovers.

"Defensively we allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do," Wolves head coach Rick Adelman said. "We have to figure out what we're going to do from this point forward because you can't defend like that."

Dallas is coming off a tough 88-87 loss at Atlanta on Friday and blew a 17- point lead. The Mavs led by 13 points in the fourth quarter and were burned by Al Horford's jumper at the top of the key with 4.2 seconds left.

After Dirk Nowitzki made it 80-67 with a 3-pointer, Atlanta used a 14-5 burst to pull within 85-81 with just under four minutes left. The teams traded free throws, and after Nowitzki missed a short jumper, Paul Millsap buried a triple to make it 87-86 with 1:16 left. Monta Ellis couldn't get a tough hook shot to fall and Jeff Teague missed an easy layup.

The Mavs took the shot clock down until Nowitzki misfired from just above the foul line. Horford responded with the clock winding down and Vince Carter's shot at the buzzer was off the mark.

"All the things that we did during the game, we just kind of basically stopped doing," Mavs forward Shawn Marion said. "They just turned it up a little bit. We just basically choked."

Nowitzki scored 16 points and Marion added 15 points and 12 boards in the loss, Dallas' third in four tries since a four-game winning streak. Atlanta outscored Dallas 46-16 in the paint and had 20 points off 18 Dallas turnovers.

The Mavericks are 8-1 at home and will also host Charlotte on the residency.

Dallas suffered a 116-108 loss at Minnesota back on Nov. 8, as Love and Martin both scored 32 points. Love also had 15 rebounds and eight assists. Ellis scored 23 points to lead the Mavs, who have still won two of the last three in this series.

Minnesota has lost four of six and 11 of its last 14 at Dallas.