By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
DALLAS (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter in his home debut for Dallas as he tried to rally the Mavericks from a 26-point deficit, but the Minnesota Timberwolves held on for a 124-121 victory on Monday night.
Irving had the highest-scoring fourth quarter of his career. But he made a bad pass after stepping inside the 3-point line on the final possession when Dallas had a chance to tie the game. He had exchanged passes with All-Star teammate Luka Doncic, who finished with 33 points.
First-time All-Star guard Anthony Edwards scored 32 points and Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had their biggest lead at 89-63 on a long step-back jumper by Edwards midway through the third quarter.
Dallas had that deficit down to 107-97 with about nine minutes left after a 25-foot shot by Irving, who on their previous possession tipped in Josh Green’s miss of a reverse layup.
Irving had a 3 in the final half-minute, soon after a turnover by Doncic.
There was a stretch a couple of minutes before that when Irving made a bounce pass to Theo Pinson, who missed the layup — but the newly acquired eight-time All-Star was there for the rebound and putback. Doncic added a 3-pointer right after that.
It was the second game Irving and Doncic played together. The Mavs have lost both, falling in overtime at Sacramento on Saturday night. Irving, acquired a week ago from the Brooklyn Nets, had played two road games for Dallas before that.
Christian Wood added 24 points for the Mavericks. He had 18 of those in the second quarter, including 13 in a row at one point
Gobert was 9 of 9 from the field, and Jaden McDaniels was 7 of 8 while scoring 19 points.
Timberwolves: Since a six-game losing streak to end 2022, Minnesota has had consecutive losses only once. The T-wolves are 15-8 in that stretch.
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. was out with right hamstring tightness after playing only 15 minutes before halftime at Sacramento. The Mavericks are still without Maxi Kleber, who has missed 31 games since December because of a right hamstring tear, and Davis Bertans, who has been out six games with a left calf strain.
Wu Yibing, who Sunday at the Dallas Open became the first Chinese player to win an ATP Tour title, attended the game. The 23-year-old Wu overcame 44 aces, four match points and a third-set tiebreaker to beat John Isner in the final. Wu sat in the second row courtside, behind MLB commentator and former player Alex Rodriguez.
Timberwolves: Host Washington on Thursday night.
Mavericks: At Denver on Wednesday night, then play six consecutive home games after this weekend’s All-Star break.
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