Wolves record: 6-25
Never before in their mostly ignominious 20-season history has a Wolves team blown a lead as big as the 29-point one they gave away in the final 22 minutes. Leading 70-41 with 94 seconds gone in the second half, the Wolves allowed Dallas both a finishing 66-30 run and the biggest comeback in its history.
They did so on a night when former Wolves coach Dwane Casey brought the Mavericks home victorious just down the sideline from Kevin McHale — who hired and fired him — after Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was ejected in the second quarter.
Wolves coach Kevin McHale working one end of the arena, Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, the former Timberwolves coach whom McHale hired and fired, working the other.
The Wolves led 47-32 when Carlisle was ejected and Casey took over with 6:30 left in the first half.
Jefferson scored 21 points, Ryan Gomes added 19 and Randy Foye had 18 for the Timberwolves, who blew the largest lead in franchise history.
The Timberwolves made just 14 of 38 shots and turned the ball over nine times after halftime after shooting 61 percent in the first half.
Minnesota’s 62-40 halftime lead was no fluke; the Wolves outran Dallas (a 14-6 fast-break advantage), outshot their hosts (a 61-to-37 percent margin from the field), and especially outworked the Mavs, at one point piling up a 26-2 lead on points in the paint. Even the defense was shockingly effective, with the Wolves knocking away seven steals to Dallas’ one.
“We had the game in hand,” McHale said, but it just wasn’t true.
Once the Wolves opened the second half by adding seven more points to their lead, Dallas went off like a fire alarm in a library, scoring 22 of the game’s next 24 points. Terry, 2 for 8 from the field in the first half, suddenly found his stroke, and he scored 24 of his game-high 29 points after halftime.
Why didn’t Kevin McHale try to settle his team after the Mavs started back from those 29 points first with a 21-2 run?
He said he probably should have “burned” a few more, but said he was trying to get his team to play with more “pace” and “flow,” like they had demonstrated in the opening 25-plus minutes.