Luka Doncic helps Dallas Mavericks take down Minnesota Timberwolves in NBA West Finals opener

3 weeks ago 60

Updated

May 23, 2024, 04:45 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 04:36 PM

MINNEAPOLIS – To hear Luka Doncic describe it, the Dallas Mavericks’ victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference Finals resembled a relay race.

Kyrie Irving burst out of the starting gate with 24 first-half points to keep Dallas in contention. Doncic took the baton at half-time and helped the Mavericks earn a 108-105 win with 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter on May 22 in Minneapolis.

“Amazing,” Doncic said. “(Kyrie) got us going. Without him, we’d probably be down 20 at half-time, so he got us going. So I had to help him in the second half a little bit.”

Irving finished with 30 points on 12-for-23 shooting for Dallas. Daniel Gafford (10 points, nine rebounds) and Dereck Lively II (nine points, 11 rebounds) narrowly missed double-doubles.

Jaden McDaniels scored 24 points and made six of nine attempts from beyond the arc to lead the Timberwolves. Anthony Edwards finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 16.

The Mavericks, who shot 49.4 per cent (43 for 87) from the field for the game, outscored Minnesota 26-22 in the fourth quarter to help secure the three-point win.

Edwards said he and his teammates struggled to maintain their energy level for the full 48 minutes. He acknowledged that the team’s comeback win over 2023 champions the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 in the conference semi-finals on May 19 might have sapped some of their energy.

“Yeah, for sure,” Edwards said. “You all can see it. We were a step behind everybody, especially myself. Kyrie got a transition lay-up ... and he just outran me. I was just exhausted. So yeah, for sure. But we’ll be all right.”

Towns and Edwards, the main Timberwolves threats...

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