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    HomeSportsTimberwolves-Mavericks preview: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic out for Dallas

    Timberwolves-Mavericks preview: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic out for Dallas


    vs. Dallas Mavericks, Target Center, 7 p.m. Wednesday

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    Pregame reading: Mike Conley can’t be a crutch for the Timberwolves late in games.

    Opening bell: The Wolves will conclude their season series with the Mavericks with the fourth meeting between the two teams. The Wolves are 2-1 and lost the most recent matchup 115-108 in Dallas in the only game both Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic played against the Wolves. But neither will play Wednesday and the Mavericks will likely be shorthanded beyond those two.

    Watch him: Doncic and Irving both missed the game in Minnesota on Dec. 28, and with both out, Tim Hardaway Jr. stepped up the scoring for Dallas with 32 points in the Wolves’ 118-110 victory. That’s tied for his third-highest scoring game of the season.

    Injuries: For the Wolves, point guard Mike Conley is questionable because of left hamstring tightness that has held him out of four of the past five games. For Dallas, in addition to Irving (thumb) and Doncic (right ankle sprain), center Derek Lively (broken nose) is also out. Dante Exum (right knee) and Derrick Jones Jr. (left wrist) are doubtful.

    Forecast: The Wolves looked like themselves again in a win over Oklahoma City on Monday, and they can continue that with a convincing performance against a banged up Dallas team. This game should mirror the circumstances around the Wolves’ victory over the Mavericks on Dec. 28, but the Wolves struggled through that game before pulling it out in the end. Wednesday’s game marks a three-game stretch at home and could boost the chances that Wolves coach Chris Finch and his staff will coach in the All-Star Game.

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