The Minnesota Timberwolves finally climbed over the threshold and turned solid early-season performance into a win on Sunday, beating the defending champion Dallas Mavericks 99-82 at the Target Center. The Wolves are now 1-3, and the Mavericks fell to 1-4.
Kevin Love led the Wolves with 25 points and 17 rebounds, and thoroughly outplayed 2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki (21 points, four rebounds). Ricky Rubio was as fancy as he usually is, racking up 14 points on 4-8 shooting with seven assists, none better than this gem.
A bounce pass through Dirk Nowitzki's five-hole for a three-pointer. That is not a normal pass.
In other action:
Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64: Zach Randolph was knocked out of the game with a knee injury with only 11 minutes under his belt, but the game was already tilted as Chicago finished the first quarter up 25-11. In fact, the Bulls won each of the first three quarters by double digits (13, 13, 14). Josh Davis and Sam Young tied for the Memphis team-high with 10 apiece.
Cavaliers 98, Nets 82: Antawn Jamison lives! The veteran scored 23 points on 10-15 shooting, and Daniel Gibson scored 17 with five threes off the bench to pace Cleveland in a strong home win against a bad, bad Nets team. Deron Williams shot 6-16 for 16 points with five assists and six turnovers.
Magic 102, Raptors 96: Toronto gave Orlando everything it wanted, but the Magic finished a win to move to 4-1. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and J.J. Redick poured in 21 points on 10 FGAs off of the bench. Andrea Bargnani scored 28 for the Raptors, who are now 1-3.
Celtics 94, Wizards 86: Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists as the C's finished off the game in D.C. to keep the Wizards winless (0-4). John Wall nearly mimicked Rondo with a 19-point, eight-assist, seven-rebound performance. JaVale McGee had 16 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks for the Wiz.
Kings 96, Hornets: Tyreke Evans broke out for 27 points as the Kings beat visiting, ice-cold New Orleans. The Hornets went 0-15 on three-pointers, wasting a good portion of the team's 22 offensive rebounds.