Mavericks Win, Steal Home Court Advantage

Dallas Mavericks defeat Minnesota Timberwolves | Image by Dallas Mavericks/Facebook

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-105 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, giving the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the series as the teams prepare for Game 2 on Friday.

The Mavericks struggled to shoot the ball throughout the 48 minutes of action, while the Timberwolves seemed unable to miss for the majority of the game. Scoring bursts from the Mavericks’ star guards, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, carried Dallas to a close win.

The teams opened the game by trading shots in the first quarter. The Timberwolves took a 12-8 lead through the first five minutes of action, as Doncic and Irving scored all the baskets for the Mavericks early on.

Irving stayed aggressive for the Mavericks, scoring 13 of the team’s first 23 points while also contributing an assist to guard Jaden Hardy to help Dallas take a 23-21 lead.

Minnesota kept its hot shooting going to end the quarter, taking a 33-27 lead going into the second quarter following a deep three-point basket made by guard Anthony Edwards with only seconds remaining.

The Mavericks began the second quarter aggressively, as Doncic made a step-back three-point jump shot and threw an assist to center Daniel Gafford. However, the team was unable to consistently get stops on defense, and the Timberwolves extended their lead to 41-32 with 7:47 left in the half.

Doncic and Irving continued their impressive first half, cutting the Timberwolves’ lead down to 49-45 with 4:12 left in the half. The two guards scored or assisted on all 13 of the Mavericks’ points during their run.

Although the Timberwolves continued to shoot incredibly well from behind the three-point line, finishing the half making 44% of their attempts, the Mavericks once again cut the lead to just 62-59 going into halftime after Irving made an and-one jump shot with less than a second remaining in the half.

The shot gave Irving a team-leading 24 points at halftime. He made 11 of his 14 shot attempts, while Doncic chipped in 14 points and five assists.

Gafford and forward Derrick Jones Jr. started the half well for the Mavericks, combining for 10 points in the first five minutes of game time, giving the team a 69-68 lead with 7:16 left in the quarter.

The Mavericks’ cold shooting for the game continued as they made just one of their five three-point shot attempts in the first nine minutes of the half, maintaining a slim 80-79 lead with 2:58 left in the third quarter.

The low-scoring third quarter ended with the Mavericks outscoring the Timberwolves by two points, as Minnesota held onto an 83-82 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of the game.

Doncic finally got his shot going at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring seven straight points on a combination of mid-range and three-point jump shots to give the Mavericks a 91-89 lead with 9:07 remaining in the game.

Dallas maintained its scoring advantage for the next few minutes until Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns made a deep three-point basket, giving Minnesota a 99-98 lead with 4:39 left in the game.

The Mavericks reclaimed the lead after forward P.J. Washington made a three-point basket with 1:56 left in the game. Doncic hit a clutch jump shot shortly after to give them a 106-102 lead with 49 seconds remaining. Dallas hung on to win the game 108-105.

Irving finished the game with 30 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Doncic contributed 33 points, six rebounds, and eight assists in the victory.

Although the Mavericks struggled to shoot from behind the three-point line, making just 24% of their attempts, they scored an incredible 62 points in the paint as they utilized the pick-and-roll throughout the game to attack the Timberwolves’ big men.

The win gives the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the series heading into Game 2, which will be played on Friday in Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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