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Doncic’s Game Winner Carries Mavs to 2-0 Series Lead

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Naz Reid #11 and Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves | Image by David Berding/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Naz Reid #11 and Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves | Image by David Berding/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-108 in Game 2, taking a 2-0 series lead as the teams head back to American Airlines Center for Game 3.

The Mavericks put together yet another fourth-quarter comeback. Guard Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving led the way, capped off with Doncic making a game-winning three-point jump shot over Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Dallas and Minnesota opened the game by trading shots. The Timberwolves got out to an early 21-17 lead through the first half of the quarter, as guard Anthony Edwards contributed five points and two assists.

Minnesota remained aggressive through the end of the quarter as they took a 32-26 lead to end the quarter, holding the Mavericks to just 44% shooting from the field and only allowing three free throws.

Doncic finished the quarter scoring nine points, while center Daniel Gafford finished with six points and made all three of his field goal attempts.

The second quarter began poorly for the Mavericks. They struggled to make shots early on, with the Timberwolves going on an 8-2 run to open the first two minutes of the quarter and extending their lead to 40-28.

The next four minutes were more of the same as the Timberwolves continued their hot shooting. Their lead grew to 57-40 following a putback dunk from Minnesota’s Gobert with 4:37 left in the half.

Dallas managed to keep themselves in the game as they went into halftime, with a flurry of fastbreak points helping them cut the Timberwolves’ lead to 60-48 going into the intermission.

Doncic finished the first half with 16 points while also accumulating six rebounds and five assists, as rookie center Dereck Lively II provided a spark off the bench with eight points in 14 minutes of playing time.

The Mavericks shot just 39.1% from the field and 28.6% from the three-point line while also shooting just 8-12 from the free-throw line.

The second half began with the two teams trading baskets, playing evenly through the first four minutes of the half with the Timberwolves holding onto their 12-point lead.

Doncic stayed aggressive. He scored or assisted on 10 of the Mavericks’ first 12 points in the half, remaining aggressive as he looked to kickstart the team’s offense.

This aggression paid off for the Mavericks as guard Jaden Hardy made a three-point jump shot with 2:26 left in the quarter to cap off a 21-7 run, cutting the Timberwolves’ lead to just 75-72.

Minnesota managed to make a three-point shot with seconds remaining in the quarter as they carried an 86-79 lead going into the final 12 minutes of action.

Irving finally got his shot going at the start of the fourth quarter, making two contested three-point jump shots and assisting on a layup for forward P.J. Washington as Dallas took an 87-86 lead with 10:22 left in the game.

This quick start to the quarter gave the Mavericks their first lead since mid-way through the first quarter.

The teams continued to go back and forth for the next five minutes. Doncic made two free throws to bring the Mavericks to within one point, cutting the Timberwolves’ lead to 102-101 with 3:31 left in the game.

Minnesota was leading the Mavericks 108-106 with just seconds remaining, but Doncic made an effort to get Gobert switched onto him before making a game-winning step-back jump shot with three seconds left in the game.

This game-winner secured the victory for the Mavericks, as they have now taken a 2-0 series lead with the teams heading back to Dallas for Game 3.

Doncic finished the game with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, while Irving finished with 20 points and contributed 6 assists of his own.

Game 3 in this series will be on Sunday at 7 p.m. in American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

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