Mavericks Look to Close Out Timberwolves With G5 Win

Daniel Gafford #21 of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves | Image by Tim Heitman/Getty Images
Daniel Gafford #21 of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves | Image by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks will face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

The Mavericks will look to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.

Dallas is coming off a close 105-100 loss at American Airlines Center on Tuesday as guards Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic combined to shoot just 13/39 from the field and 5/17 from behind the three-point line.

Irving spoke about the shooting struggles for the duo after the game, acknowledging that “[n]o team is going to lay down” and allow easy shots for the two while crediting the Timberwolves’ defense throughout the game.

When I look at just the quality of our shots, a few of them could be better. A few of them were rushed. A few of them were in and out,” he added, per The NBA.

Although the team will now travel back to Minnesota for Game 5 on Thursday, Doncic has proven during his career to be better while on the road than playing at home.

Doncic has averaged 29.2 points while playing at American Airlines Center in the playoffs, but he has increased his scoring to 32.5 points per game in match-ups on the road while also shooting more efficiently, per Statmuse.

Each team had success during these situations throughout the regular season, as the Timberwolves finished the year with a 30-11 record while playing at home, which was the fifth-best record in the entire league.

Similarly, the Mavericks ended the regular season with the sixth-best road record, finishing the year with an overall record of 25-16 while not on their home court.

Dallas played Game 4 without rookie center Dereck Lively II after he sustained a neck sprain in the game prior, though he has been upgraded to questionable in Game 5.

Lively is currently listed as day-to-day but was present during the team’s shootaround on Thursday morning, indicating that he may be on track to play.

Doncic is also listed as day-to-day due to injuries to his knee and ankle, though he is also expected to be available for Game 5.

Minnesota currently has just guard Mike Conley listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but he has played through his Achilles injury in the past and will likely suit up for the game on Thursday night.

A win in Game 5 would advance the Mavericks to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2011 season, where Dirk Nowitzki led them to their first-ever NBA Championship after defeating the Miami Heat in six games.

If they make the finals this year, the Mavericks would stand in Game 1 on June 6 against the Boston Celtics, who are coming off a 4-0 sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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