Doncic secures Dallas Mavericks’ win with a clutch 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining, giving them a 109-108 victory over the Timberwolves Wolves

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Luka Doncic drives against Anthony Edwards

Luka Doncic looked for an opening as the clock wound down, using a screen to lure Rudy Gobert, the Defensive Player of the Year, out to the top of the key. A quick dribble move set up his step-back 3-pointer.

With a successful shot and a celebratory cheer, Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks now lead the Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves 2-0.

Doncic made the decisive shot with only 3 seconds remaining, securing a 109-108 victory for the Mavericks over the Timberwolves on Friday night. This marked his fifth triple-double of the playoffs. “I was just aiming to get to my preferred spot and execute the step-back. I trust in that shot,” Doncic remarked.

Finishing with 32 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds, Doncic achieved his eighth career postseason triple-double in just 42 games for the Mavericks. Despite trailing by 18 points late in the second quarter and still being down by 16 midway through the third, the Mavericks managed to stage an impressive comeback.

“Luka thrives in these high-pressure situations. He doesn’t shy away from them,” commented Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. “His leadership and energy throughout the game were exceptional.”

Although Naz Reid scored 23 points, including going 7 for 9 from 3-point range, his final attempt at the buzzer failed to go in, leaving the Wolves facing a challenging Game 3 in Dallas on Sunday.

Luka Doncic shoots the ball

“First to four wins. We can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Doncic emphasized. “We need to focus on the next game, not the future, just what’s in front of us.”

Kyrie Irving contributed 20 points, with 13 of them coming in the fourth quarter. His corner 3-pointer with 1:05 left narrowed the Mavericks’ deficit to two points. Following turnovers by the Wolves and a missed shot by Doncic, Edwards’ turnover set up Doncic’s game-winning shot.

Taking the inbounds pass, Doncic maneuvered to set up a screen by Dereck Lively II, resulting in a defensive switch by the Wolves, with Jaden McDaniels guarding Lively’s roll and Gobert remaining at the top of the key.

“I might not be the quickest, but I’m definitely quicker than him,” said Doncic, flexing his muscles and shouting at Gobert, who had fouled him hard earlier in the first half, earning a stern look from the five-time All-NBA selection.

The lead kept changing hands, with neither team having more than a three-point advantage from 10:50 left in the game until 1:29 remaining. At that point, Edwards, who scored 21 points but struggled with his shooting, made two free throws to give the Wolves a 108-103 lead.

This came right after Irving missed both free throws, prompting the crowd to clamor for the promotion that gives fans a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.

Mike Conley contributed 18 points, and Gobert recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who heavily relied on Reid, the NBA Sixth Man of the Year. His three-pointer at the end of the third quarter extended the Wolves’ lead to 86-79, following a strong push from the Mavericks, who went on a 21-7 run during a 6:36 stretch, mostly while Conley was resting.

Anthony Edwards drives against Derrick Jones Jr.

“We’re making too many mistakes, especially mental ones,” remarked Towns, who scored 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting. “Our defense, which has been solid all season, sometimes falls apart at crucial moments. Combine that with our current offensive struggles, and it’s tough.”

Doncic, who excelled in the fourth quarter of Game 1 with 33 points, has been dealing with a sprained right knee and left ankle soreness, as listed on the league’s official injury report.

Late in the first quarter, when he was substituted out, Doncic went straight to the locker room before returning to the bench for his next stint. After scoring a layup on a fast break late in the second quarter, Doncic appeared to be laboring and limping on his way back. He shot 5 for 14 before halftime.


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