Dallas Mavericks dominate Minnesota Timberwolves with a strong performance around the rim

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Anthony Edwards jumps to complete the shot

Few teams can match the size of the Minnesota Timberwolves with their trio of towers: NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, four-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, and Sixth Man of the Year Naz Reid.

The revamped Dallas Mavericks showed they might be able to compete against Minnesota.

Dereck Lively II, the 7-foot-1 rookie acquired by Dallas on draft night after being selected 12th overall, and 6-10 Daniel Gafford, picked up at the trade deadline in February, made a big impact around the rim Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, a 108-105 victory for the Mavericks.

“If anything, with our team and our defense, the way that we’re built, the length and size that we have, we can’t allow points in the paint,” Towns said.

“Our biggest advantage in the league is the three-big lineup that we have. We can’t allow that. So we’ve got to be tougher in there.”

With Lively leading the way off the bench, Dallas’ center duo changed the game with their rim protection and rebounding. The Mavericks outrebounded the Timberwolves 48-40, had eight blocks, and held a 62-38 advantage on points in the paint.

Derrick Jones Jr. scores a point

“When you have that many points in the paint against the No. 1 team defensively, we’ll take it, if that’s what you’re going to give us,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Lively finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, including four offensive boards, along with two blocks. Gafford added nine rebounds, with four on the offensive end.

“I’ve got to do a better job on the rebounds,” said Gobert, who had just seven rebounds. “I can’t let these guys just get offensive rebounds. I’ll be better.”

With Lively and Gafford inside, Minnesota didn’t try to attack the paint. The Timberwolves took 49 of their 89 shots from 3-point range. Towns finished 6-of-20 shooting, including 2 of 9 from 3.


By James Brown

A passionate and driven individual currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Born on 06 February, hails from Raipur, where their journey into the world of technology and creativity began.

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