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Associated Press, Published November 12 2012

Pekovic hurt in Timberwolves' win over Mavs

DALLAS – Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points before leaving with an injury and the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks 90-82 Monday night.

Because of a rash of injuries, the Timberwolves dressed only 10 players. The 6-foot-11 Pekovic exited with 2:46 left in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return.

Pekovic went 8 of 13 from the floor. Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved each had 16 points for Minnesota.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was ejected after arguing a foul call with 5 minutes left. Assistant coach Jim O’Brien coached the team the rest of the way.

Darren Collison had 21 points and O.J. Mayo added 18 for the Mavericks, who lost their third straight.

Even will all the injuries, the Timberwolves (5-2) are off to their best start since 2001-02.

Minnesota led by six at halftime and pushed its advantage to 64-51 on Kirilenko’s dunk with 3:52 left in the third. Pekovic went down to the floor just more than a minute later and was helped off the court by a trainer.

Dallas was within 76-68 in the fourth when Carlisle was ejected. The coach stormed toward halfcourt after a shooting foul was called on Mayo, and official Jason Phillips quickly gave Carlisle consecutive technicals.

The Timberwolves went on a 9-4 run over the next 1:37, capped by Shved’s

3-pointers that gave Minnesota an 85-72 lead.

Luke Ridnour had 15 points for the wolves.

Minnesota 25 20 21 24 – 90

Dallas 17 22 19 24 – 82

MINNESOTA (90): Kirilenko 7-12 1-2 16, Williams 1-2 2-2 4, Pekovic 8-13 4-5 20, Ridnour 3-9 7-8 15, Lee 2-6 0-0 4, D.Cunningham 6-9 2-2 14, Shved 3-12 9-11 16, Stiemsma 0-1 0-0 0, Conroy 0-0 1-2 1, Amundson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-65 26-32 90.

DALLAS (82): Crowder 1-5 0-0 3, Brand 2-5 0-0 4, Wright 1-3 0-0 2, Collison 5-10 11-12 21, Mayo 7-18 2-2 18, Kaman 5-15 2-4 12, Carter 1-7 2-2 4, Murphy 2-6 1-1 5, Beaubois 0-3 0-0 0, Da.Jones 2-4 2-4 7, James 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 29-80 20-25 82.

3-Point Goals:Minnesota 4-15 (Ridnour 2-5, Kirilenko 1-2, Shved 1-6, Lee 0-2), Dallas 4-16 (Mayo 2-4, Da.Jones 1-1, Crowder 1-4, Beaubois 0-1, Murphy 0-2, Carter 0-4). Fouled Out:None. Rebounds:Minnesota 55 (Kirilenko 11), Dallas 42 (Kaman, Mayo, Murphy 5). Assists:Minnesota 20 (Ridnour 7), Dallas 16 (Beaubois 7). Total Fouls:Minnesota 22, Dallas 20. Technicals:Amundson, Minnesota defensive three second, Dallas Coach Carlisle 2, Dallas delay of game. Ejected – Dallas Coach Carlisle. A:19,322 (19,200).