Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Live Score and Stats – May 30, 2024 Gametracker

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Luka Doncic was in his element, hitting shots from all over the court, silencing the crowd and flashing those smirks as the Dallas Mavericks delivered a knockout performance.

One of the young superstars of world sports now gets his first trip to the NBA Finals.

Doncic had a 20-point first quarter en route to a playoff-best 36 points, and the Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-103 on Thursday night to advance to the Western Conference finals in five games .

“He let his teammates know it was time and they needed to step it up,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He sent out the invitations and they all came.”

Kyrie Irving also scored 36 points for the Mavericks, who built a 29-point halftime lead on 61% shooting to deflate the once energetic crowd before most fans rose for their first snack break. The Mavs went up by 36 in the third quarter, constantly keeping the Timberwolves offense out of control.

“I just had this greater confidence when I was going to sleep last night and I went to shoot this morning,” Irving said, “I just felt like we were going to play one of our best games. “

The Mavs, the No. 5 seed in the West, have a full week to rest before the NBA Finals begin in Boston on June 6 for the franchise’s first appearance since winning the championship in 2011. when Kidd played for them. The Celtics will have had 10 days between games after sweeping Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals.

Anthony Edwards scored 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Wolves, who faced the defensive duo of Doncic and Irving after stifling Phoenix in a first-round sweep , then dethroned the defense. champion Denver in a seven-game series.

“We never came together as a team in this series, not even one game,” Edwards said. “The last two series we were all clicking at the same time, taking shots and stuff. It didn’t click at one point here.

Irving improved to 15-1 in his career in closing playoff games.

Doncic set a defiant tone as he started 4-for-4, hitting rainbows from 28 and 31 feet as he turned to talk trash to the fans on the court with every rustle.

“It motivates me,” Doncic said. “Everyone knows it now.”

He drained a 32-footer later in the first quarter as the Mavs ended on a 17-1 spurt, a run they pushed to 28-5 in nine minutes.

“I thought I set a pretty good screen, and I turned around and he’s shooting from half court,” center Daniel Gafford said.

It was Doncic’s second 20-point quarter of his postseason career, following a 21-point fourth quarter in the Western Conference finals loss to Golden State in 2022. He was voted MVP of the series.

Doncic, who shot 14 of 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and his savvy sidekick Irving, who has a championship ring since 2016 with Cleveland, were the top stars of the series as this Wolves team found its first forward taste of a sustained playoff run. a bitter situation – but perhaps ultimately beneficial.

“You can’t skip any steps. The West will be a monster next year, as it continues to be every year. We’ve done a lot of things well this year,” Wolvers coach Chris Finch said. “I’m super proud of our guys. Just building another layer of foundation to try to get where we want to go .

Despite familiarly and constantly waving his arms at the officials almost every time a whistle was not aimed at him, Doncic, 25, played with unwavering confidence and unflappable joy from start to finish . As he was taunted by fans with a “Flopper!” singing when he shot free throws in the third quarter, Doncic smiled and mouthed the words mockingly with them.

The Mavs got 7-foot-1 rookie Derek Lively II back from the neck sprain that kept him out of the previous game, restoring the full rim-protection duo with Gafford that helped them disrupt Rudy Gobert in the post and just about everyone else who tried. to attack the basket. Gafford had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Lively added nine points and eight rebounds.

Edwards, despite reaching the 25-point mark for the 15th time in 27 career playoff games, struggled to find his rhythm among all the double teams. The Wolves, for all their progress this season, were reminded that they didn’t yet have a championship offense despite his dynamic skillset and clutch mentality.

They had several wince-inducing possessions during the decisive first half, with the coaches struggling to find a group that could play together in sync.

As the final seconds of the second quarter ticked down, Edwards headed to the lane and threw the ball in the corner to Kyle Anderson, who returned it to Towns on the wing and failed to find a look that she liked. It came back to Anderson, who tried to close and made the shot clock expire.

PJ Washington, who had 12 points, flexed his arms in celebration of another stifling Mavs defensive sequence.

“They won the series. They won the series. They deserve the series. Well done to them and all their staff. They were led by two world-class players who were playing at a world-class level,” Finch said.


Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and the Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button