The Dallas Mavericks put Tim Hardaway Jr. back in the starting lineup for the first time since late November on Dec. 19 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Luka Doncic missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury, and the Mavs only had 11 active players for the game.
Things went from bad to worse in the third quarter when Kristaps Porzingis suffered a foot injury and was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Dallas pushed in front behind a 38-point third quarter, but they scored just 17 in the fourth as the Timberwolves picked up the 111-105 victory in Minnesota.
In the loss, Tim Hardaway Jr. had arguably his best game of the 2021-2022 season. Here is a closer look at his performance and what it could mean for the shorthanded Mavericks moving forward.
Tim Hardaway Jr. drops 28 as Dallas Mavericks fall to Timberwolves
THJ had to play 41 minutes on Sunday night because Dallas was shorthanded, especially on the wing. He had 28 points on ten of 19 shooting from the field for his second-highest scoring game of the season. Hardaway Jr. also pitched in six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block in Minnesota as the Mavs outscored the Timberwolves by eight when he was on the floor.
There was no shortage of highlights either, including this fourth-quarter dunk.
Reggie Bullock and Josh Green entered the health and safety protocols this weekend and are likely out for multiple games, which leaves Dallas short at the two and the three. Luka Doncic’s ankle is improving, but there is no guarantee he returns on Tuesday night when the Mavericks host the Timberwolves, and fans are waiting for an update on KP’s injury. The team will be shorthanded in their next game, and they will need a monster performance from THJ to have a chance to win.
Over his last 15 games before Sunday night, Hardaway Jr. had shot just 35.9 percent from the field and 30.4 percent on his threes. They were ugly numbers, but hopefully, the 28 points on Dec. 19 got him back on track. The Dallas Mavericks need Tim Hardaway Jr. knocking down shots, and fans know he can deliver. Stay tuned to see if he builds on his latest performance.