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The Dallas Mavericks Host Towns Led Wolves at Home

BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 23: J.J. Barea #5 and Wesley Matthews #23 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after a play against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on December 23, 2015 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 23: J.J. Barea #5 and Wesley Matthews #23 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after a play against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on December 23, 2015 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Coming off a massive performance, Karl-Anthony Towns leads the Wolves to Dallas to face the Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks (23-51) will once again take on a team caught in the rat race that is the Western Conference playoff hunt. Friday night, they welcome the seventh-place Minnesota Timberwolves (43-33) to the American Airlines Center. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Minnesota has won the first three matchups this season, with the last being a 97-92 victory back on Dec. 10 at home. Karl-Anthony Towns led the Wolves with 28 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Harrison Barnes had a team-high 19 points for Dallas.

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, six games separate eight Western Conference teams, which rank between third and tenth place. Minnesota has potential to either move up to fourth-place, guaranteeing first-round home court advantage, or they can very well find themselves on the outside looking in, come playoff time.

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Add to this the fact that Karl-Anthony Towns had a historic night Wednesday (56 points, 15 rebounds, six 3-pointers), and all signs point to a determined and desperate Minnesota team showing up tonight.

Dallas will need to pay extra attention to Towns who is averaging 24.6 points and 11.6 rebounds against them this season.

As the season approaches its end, coach Rick Carlisle has become more experimental in terms of his lineup choices. He’s done an exceptional job at altering minutes so younger players receive more on-court action. Perhaps, Carlisle is looking for which players to give an increased role to next season.

Mavs fans now get to see players such as Maxi Kleber, Aaron Harrison, Johnathan Motley and Jalen Jones develop. Even Nerlens Noel, who was once deep in Carlisle’s doghouse, has seen an uptick in playing time lately. Look for more of this tonight.

Next: Mavs in NCAA Tournament

Be sure to follow The Smoking Cuban on Twitter at @thesmokingcuban, for live score updates, analysis and highlights. As always, go Mavs!

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