Sunday night was nothing like Friday at Target Center.
The opponent was not as bright. The crowd was not that raucous. National attention was not present. And, frankly, the Timberwolves didn’t play nearly as well.
But one constant remained: The Timberwolves emerged with another victory. They more or less survived on Sunday, holding off Dallas — two stars below their own — to win 111-105 in Minneapolis.
The win was Wolves’ fourth straight, and while it was certainly their least impressive, they all count the same. Wolves (15-15) are now back at .500 on the season.
Both teams started the game without their top wings. Luka Doncic missed the game with an ankle pain, while Anthony Edwards remains in health and safety protocol. Dallas suffered another major blow in the third quarter, when Kristaps Porzingis left the competition with a pain in his right leg.
Porzingis’ absence left Dallas severely short on the interior.
Minnesota has never set its foot on the accelerator. Wolves couldn’t get enough of it. The offense that Minnesota did came from Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Jaylen Nouvel.
Towns finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists, a third clearance at the top of the Dallas zone defense with 1 minute, 45 seconds to play specifically to extend Minnesota’s lead to five.
Russell had 22 points, and Novell, who has been a revelation from the Minnesota bench, conceded 16 points, including buckets, at some point in the fourth frame.
But Minnesota did enough defensively to stop Dallas (14-15). Wolves held Dallas to 17 fourth quarter points.
The Mavericks could make 4 for 21 from deep in the first half and 1 for 8 from deep in the final frame.
Josh Okogi entered health and safety protocol with Edwards and Taurean Prince on Sunday, joining protocol.