Marion leads Mavericks over T-Wolves for 12th straight win

The Sports Network

3/8/2010 10:51:31 PM

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Shawn Marion posted 29 points to go with 14 rebounds, pacing the Mavericks to their 12th straight victory in a 125-112 decision over the lowly Timberwolves.

Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler added 24 and 23 points, respectively, for Dallas, which is in the midst of its longest winning streak in three seasons.

Jason Kidd ended with 12 points and 10 assists for the victors.

Minnesota's Al Jefferson returned for a two-game suspension for a suspected DWI and scored 36 points on 16-of-21 shooting while pulling down 13 rebounds. Ryan Hollins had 13 points and nine boards before being ejected late in the game for Minnesota, which has dropped six straight overall and ninth straight at the Target Center against the Mavs.

Minnesota actually got out to a fast start, as Jefferson scored 11 points in the first five minutes, hitting a turnaround jumper for a 19-9 lead.

The Mavs countered with a 23-4 flurry over the next five minutes to take control. Marion had 10 points during the stretch, and Dallas led 34-27 at the first-quarter buzzer.

It was a double-digit game for most of the second quarter, and Dallas' 71-61 lead at halftime fell to seven, 77-70, following a Hollins dunk near the nine- minute mark of the third.

Again the visitors had an answer, scoring 12 of the next 13 points, as a Nowitzki bucket yielded an 89-71 lead midway through the frame.

Dallas owned a 97-84 advantage with 12 minutes to play, and the closest the T'Wolves got in the fourth was 10.

Down 112-102 with under four minutes left, Hollins caught Nowitzki with an elbow going after a rebound and was subsequently ejected. Earlier in the game, he got away with a similar forearm to the face of DeShawn Stevenson.

Nowitzki, who earlier in the day was awarded the Player of the Week in the Western Conference for the period ending March 7, hit the ensuing four free throws and the Mavs cruised from there.

Game Notes: The last time the Mavs tasted defeat was on February 16 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are on their longest win streak since a franchise-best 17- game run from January 27-March 11, 2007...Rodrigue Beaubois ended with 11 points for the Mavs, who made half of their 96 field goal attempts...Jonny Flynn posted 13 points and eight assists for Minnesota, which won the battle on the glass, 54-39.