Kyrie Irving scored 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter in his home debut for Dallas as he tried to rally the Mavericks from a 26-point deficit, but the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 124-121 victory on Monday night.
Irving had the highest-scoring fourth quarter of his career. But he made a bad pass after stepping inside the 3-point line on the final possession when Dallas had a chance to tie the game. He had exchanged passes with All-Star teammate Luka Doncic, who finished with 33 points.
First-time All-Star guard Anthony Edwards scored 32 points, and Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had their biggest lead at 89-63 on a long step-back jumper by Edwards midway through the third quarter.
Dallas had that deficit down to 107-97 with about nine minutes left after a 25-foot shot by Irving, who, on their previous possession, tipped in Josh Green’s miss of a reverse layup.
Irving had a 3 in the final half-minute, soon after a turnover by Doncic.
There was a stretch minutes before that when Irving made a bounce pass to Theo Pinson, who missed the layup — but the newly acquired eight-time All-Star was there for the rebound and putback. Doncic added a 3-pointer right after that.
It was the second game Irving and Doncic played together. The Mavs have lost both, falling in overtime at Sacramento on Saturday night. Irving, acquired a week ago from the Brooklyn Nets, had played two road games for Dallas before that.
Christian Wood added 24 points for the Mavericks. He had 18 of those in the second quarter, including 13 in a row at one point.
Gobert was 9 of 9 from the field, and Jaden McDaniels was 7 of 8 while scoring 19 points.
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