MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shawn Marion was getting to the rim at will, knocking down 3-pointers and playing tough defense.
Even if the Minnesota Timberwolves think his defense was a little too tough on the last shot of the game, there was no disputing that "The Matrix" was back for Dallas on Monday night.
Marion scored 32 points, hit two huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and swatted away Kevin Love's 21-foot jumper at the buzzer to help the Mavericks outlast the Timberwolves in a 100-98 victory.
The Mavs led by 19 late in the first half and seven with 3 minutes to play, but the Wolves had the ball down two in the closing seconds. Love got the ball in the corner and rose up for a 3-pointer, but Marion swooped in and swatted it away as Love looked for a foul. None was called.
"Heh, heh. It was not a foul," Marion said.
The Timberwolves disagreed.
"He got fouled," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "I wonder what that would have been if (Dirk) Nowitzki, LeBron James, all the top players in the league — a guy reaches on a last-second shot like that, instead of challenging it. Maybe they don't understand that Kevin is one of the top five players in this league. You make that call. But they didn't."
Love, who had 36 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, stood watching the scoreboard in disbelief, and the Mavericks walked off the court winners against the Wolves for the first time in three tries this season.
"I'm the type of person that if you see a foul, an obvious foul, you call it," Love said. "And I thought that was pretty, pretty obvious. ... You look at the replay and it was obvious he got arm."
Nowitzki had 16 points for the Mavericks, who led by 19 late in the first half before the Wolves came back. But this win was all Marion. He topped 30 points in a game for the first time since the 2008-09 season, and made 14 of 19 shots to go with six rebounds and three assists.
"I'm all about winning games, man," Marion said. "Whatever it takes."
After the Timberwolves were down 19 at halftime, Love shot 6 of 8 in the third quarter and the Wolves outscored Dallas 38-21 to tie the game heading into the fourth.
Adelman, however, might have stuck with a struggling J.J. Barea too long in the final period. Rather than going back to Ricky Rubio during a timeout with just more than 5:30 to play, Adelman kept Barea, who had five turnovers in 17 minutes, on the floor.