3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' 119-101 loss to the Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks
Minnesota Timberwolves v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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After playing an encouraging first half, the extremely shorthanded Dallas Mavericks dealt with some horrendous shooting woes in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, as Minnesota's defense proved to be too stout en route to a 119-101 victory over Dallas.

The Dallas Mavericks were still without the likes of Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber in the contest, so by de facto, head coach Jason Kidd opted to play an extremely thin rotation. The fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves were tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA at 17-5 leading into Thursday night assuredly contributed to Kidd's decision to play such a thin rotation tonight as well.

3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' 119-101 loss to the Timberwolves

However, it would've been nice to see some of the back half of the rotation get more of an opportunity in a game where some of Dallas' starters certainly didn't have their brightest day. Even those who did play well defensively such as Derrick Jones Jr., who held Timberwolves superstar Anthony Edwards to 3-19 shooting from the field as the primary on-ball defender, had a terrible shooting night on the other side of the ball.

As aforementioned, the game really started to get away from Dallas in the second half though, as they shot a horrid 1-14 from 3-point land in the final 24 minutes. Hopefully, Dallas will see greener pastures shooting the ball when they face off against the Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow. Nonetheless, here are 3 studs, and 2 duds from the Mavericks' 119-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

5. Stud - Luka Doncic

Barring an uncharacteristically high turnover game with eight on the night, Luka Doncic continued his reign of dominance against the Minnesota Timberwolves last night. Doncic came out of the gates hot, as he scored 19 points in the first quarter and finished with a stat line of 39 points, 13 assists, and 6 rebounds on the night.

Doncic was making a point to get to the rim all night and his dribble penetration was pivotal in keeping Dallas in the game. Minnesota is extremely wiry and athletic on the wing, and they opted to send a fair amount of double teams Doncic's way, as practically every team does now on a game-by-game basis.

The defensive pressure on Doncic from the likes of Minnesota's Jaden McDaniels, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Anthony Edwards certainly caught up to Doncic in the second half, but Doncic did not shy away from using his post-up and dribble-drive games to body defenders for tough finishes during all game long.

Doncic may have not had the best shooting night from downtown, but he was seemingly the only source of hope for the Mavericks offense for most of the game. Dallas didn't have the personnel to generate enough self-produced creation on the offensive side of the ball with Irving out of the lineup, so it was a tall task for Dallas' role players to fill that void left by Irving.

Doncic did all he could given the circumstances and even played pretty good defense, especially given the fact that it was a night where he was particularly frustrated by some questionable calls from officials.