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    Written by DafaNews
    Luka Doncic

    Mavericks One Win Away from First NBA Finals in 13 Years After Beating Timberwolves

    May 27, 2024

    The Dallas Mavericks made crucial plays on both ends of the court to secure a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each scored 33 points, leading the Mavericks to a decisive run in the final five minutes of the game.

    Dallas now stands just one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2011. The team’s resilience was on full display, particularly in the closing moments after rookie center Dereck Lively II left the game with a sprained neck from an accidental collision with Karl-Anthony Towns.

    Despite the setback, the Mavericks finished the game with a 14-3 run, securing their fifth consecutive playoff victory. “We just say one more, we need one more,” Doncic said. “Nothing done. They have an amazing team, so nothing is done yet. We’ve got to get one more, and then if we get one more, we need the rest.”

    The critical stretch began with a corner three-pointer from P.J. Washington, set up by passes from Doncic to Irving and then to Washington. The dynamic duo of Doncic and Irving then took over. Doncic scored a crucial shot in the lane, Irving electrified the crowd with a falling-down jumper, and Doncic found Daniel Gafford for an alley-oop dunk, extending their lead to 113-105 with 34 seconds left. Gafford also made a key defensive play by blocking Mike Conley’s layup attempt.

    “They’re trying to double me the whole game, trying to double Kai, so that just makes us better,” Doncic explained. “Everybody touches the ball, everybody plays. That’s an amazing win. You know, we come down to the stretch and we execute.”

    Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 26 points, but struggled in the fourth quarter, managing only four points after a strong third quarter. “I never think the sky is falling,” Edwards said. “I’m always positive, always happy. Been through the works, so the sky’s never falling for me.”

    Towns contributed 14 points but missed all eight of his three-point attempts, including a critical miss with 1:25 remaining. Minnesota struggled to close the game after taking a 104-102 lead with five minutes left, missing seven consecutive shots thereafter.

    “You’ve got to try to score alongside of them,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “The whole series, we’ve struggled to close games. These three-minute games that we’re playing, we’re losing.”

    Doncic’s performance was pivotal, especially considering his game-winning three-pointer in Game 2. He shot 10 of 20 from the field and 5 of 11 from three-point range. Irving, known for his clutch performances, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, finishing 12 of 20 from the field and 3 of 6 from long range.

    With the 2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki watching from center court, the Mavericks are closer than ever to returning to the NBA’s biggest stage. Edwards, despite his efforts, acknowledged the need for positivity moving forward. “We can’t be anything but positive at this point,” Edwards said. “We can’t be negative. Try to get one win at a time.”

    The game also featured a scary moment for rookie Dereck Lively II, who suffered a neck injury from an accidental knee to the head by Towns. Lively was taken to the locker room after appearing dazed but had been instrumental in the Mavericks’ earlier playoff successes.

    As Dallas gears up for Game 4 on Tuesday night in Dallas, they aim to close out the series and secure their first NBA Finals appearance in 13 years. With the dynamic duo of Doncic and Irving leading the charge, the Mavericks are poised for a historic achievement.

    About the Author


    Written by DafaNews

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