Mavericks to gun down host Timberwolves?

Mavericks to gun down host Timberwolves?

The Mavericks have a habit of giving the Timberwolves the business. That must continue today if Dirk Nowitzki and his teammates are to make a genuine playoff push.

Aiming to sweep this season series for the second consecutive year and the sixth time in franchise history, Dallas visits the Target Center at 3:30 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv prefers Rick Carlisle’s squad as a 2.5-point favorite, with the over/under total at 204.5.

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Friday evening featured another major challenge for the injury-depleted Mavs. They pulled through in a 98-89 win at Detroit, though, despite missing Deron Williams (sports hernia), Chandler Parsons (knee surgery) and Raymond Felton (groin strain). Stellar defense continues to be the calling card, with recent opponents such as the Pistons, Nuggets and Knicks unable to crack the 90-point mark.

Ostensibly, Minnesota figures to provide little resistance, either. Sam Mitchell’s club shot 39.2 percent in defeats of 99-79 on Wednesday and 98-85 on Friday. At least Anthony Wiggins keeps churning out big-time scoring performances, accompanied by rookie Karl Anthony-Towns’ flair for double-doubles.

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Yet Dallas boasts a 14-3 record in the Twin Cities over the last nine seasons. Clinging to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, the Mavericks want a certifiable positive before closing the campaign with four games against the Clippers, Jazz, Spurs and Grizzlies. It’ll happen here.

SUNDAY NBA FREE PICK: MAVERICKS -2.5

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