Timberwolves lose to Dallas 110-108 after wild ending

Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves goes up for a slam dunk as Josh Green #8 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on in the first half at American Airlines Center on March 21, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to gain steam nationally as they navigate one of their better seasons in the last two decades, but failed to execute late in regulation in a 110-108 loss at the Dallas Mavericks Monday night.

For one night, the Timberwolves had the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference, tied with Denver at 42-30 and owning the tiebreaker. But they fell back to the No. 7 spot after Monday's loss to the Mavericks, who come to Target Center Friday night in another pivotal game. Monday's loss had a playoff feel, as will the final nine regular season games until the Timberwolves determine their fate. 

Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points, D’Angelo Russell scored 18 and Taurean Prince had 17 points off the bench. After the loss, the Timberwolves were still upset over a late foul on Patrick Beverley, who was trying to shoot a potential game-tying 3-pointer. The officials called it a non-shooting foul, and Beverley only got two shots. He missed the first and intentionally missed the second, collecting his own rebound. He was fouled again, only to have Jason Kidd challenge it, win the challenge and force a jump ball.

"Wild really. Looking at the tape, I thought PB got fouled on the shot, which was a 3-pointer. He was clearly in the gather and the turn. I thought that should’ve been for sure a three-point shot. He makes a call from 50 feet away, I don’t know," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said after the loss.

"It hurts a lot to have it played out like that," Towns said. "It's a tough one to accept, it's tough to watch the tape and have to see that. Just have to move on and get ready."

The Timberwolves won the jump ball and Beverley chased it down, but Luka Doncic fouled him before he could get off what would've been a game-tying 3-pointer.

The Timberwolves had a 103-100 lead in the fourth quarter before the Mavericks went on a 7-0 run, and never trailed again. The Timberwolves trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before their late rally came up just short.

The start of Monday's game had a bizarre 30-minute delay, as storms in the area caused a pipe well above the Timberwolves' bench to leak and water came dripping onto the floor.

As they compete for playoff positioning, Minnesota will play Dallas twice this week with the Phoenix Suns in-between on Wednesday – games that will be a good barometer for how the Timberwolves compete against some of the best teams in the Western Conference.

The Timberwolves have nine games left, and trail the Denver Nuggets by a half game for the No. 6 spot in the West to avoid a play-in series for the playoffs.

"It is what it is. Gotta pick ourselves up and get ready to play on Wednesday," Finch said.