MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Love had 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 116-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
Jose Calderon made 6 of 8 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the Mavericks. Monta Ellis scored 23 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 14 for Dallas. The Mavericks played without trusted reserve Vince Carter, who was suspended for the game for elbowing Oklahoma City's Steven Adams on Wednesday.
The Wolves led by 11 in the third and eight with less than 4:30 to play, but had to hold their breath down the stretch. Calderon hit his sixth 3 of the night, Ellis scored on a drive to the bucket to make it 105-102 Minnesota with 2:24 to go.
Love, who just missed his first triple-double of his career, hit a 3 on the other end, Ricky Rubio foiled Ellis's drive to the basket and Love sealed it with a 17-foot Nowitzki-style fade-away on the baseline with 1:13 to play.
Nikola Pekovic had 15 points and six rebounds for Minnesota.
Jae Crowder had 10 points and six rebounds for Dallas.
The new-look Mavericks have been one of the best offensive teams in the league, with Ellis and Calderon making a seamless transition and flourishing as role players surrounding Nowitzki. Ellis has been remarkably efficient in comparison to his volume shooting ways with the Warriors and Bucks, entering the game shooting 55 per cent on 2-pointers.
That efficiency wasn't there on Friday night as Ellis needed 24 shots to score 23 points.
The Wolves appeared to be taking control midway through the third quarter with a 16-4 surge that put them in front by 11. But the Mavericks came right back, getting two 3s from Calderon and another from Ellis during a 13-3 run that cut the deficit to one point.
For much of the game, Love was the Timberwolves' best passer, even with Rubio on the floor. He hit Brewer for several home run passes and racked up six assists in a sensational first quarter. He also had nine points and six rebounds in the period.
Rubio had six points on 2-for-8 shooting and four assists and he was bottled up for most of the night by Spanish countrymen Calderon, who didn't fall for the sleight of hand that Rubio uses to keep defenders off balance.
Calderon also had seven assists and four rebounds.
NOTES: Carter said at shootaround that he wished he could take the elbow to Adams back, but couldn't and felt bad for putting his team in the position of not having him available for the game. ... Timberwolves F Derrick Williams did not play because of back spasms. ... Robbie Hummel made his NBA debut for the Timberwolves, scoring two points in 11 minutes.