Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both net 33 points each as the Dallas Mavericks secure a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves

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Kyrie Irving shoots the ball to complete the basket

Luka Doncic dashed for the ball following a steal by Anthony Edwards, pushing it far enough away to spark a scramble and eventually winning a jump ball.

The Mavericks once again stepped up when it mattered, making significant plays on both offense and defense and now stand on the verge of their first NBA Finals appearance in over a decade.

With Doncic and Kyrie Irving both contributing 33 points, Dallas surged ahead in the final five minutes to secure a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving them a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Their strong finish, outscoring the Timberwolves 14-3, marked the Mavs’ fifth consecutive playoff win, despite facing adversity when Dereck Lively II exited the game with a sprained neck following an accidental collision with Karl-Anthony Towns.

The odds are stacked against the Timberwolves, as no team in NBA playoff history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit.

“Don’t even mention it,” remarked Doncic, focused on the upcoming Game 4 in Dallas. “But it’s a great feeling. However, we need to stay focused on the next game and maintain the same intensity. They won’t back down easily.”

Luka Dončić shoots the ball to make it to the basket

P.J. Washington Jr., who contributed 16 points, sealed the deal for Dallas with a crucial tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:38 left, assisted by Doncic and Irving.

The dynamic duo continued to shine down the stretch, with Doncic hitting a crucial shot in the paint for a four-point lead, Irving thrilling the crowd with a falling-down jumper, and Doncic connecting with Daniel Gafford for an alley-oop dunk, extending their lead to 113-105 with just 34 seconds remaining. Gafford’s block on Mike Conley’s layup attempt on the other end added to the Mavericks’ defensive prowess.

“They’re constantly trying to double-team me and Kai throughout the game, but that just makes us stronger,” Doncic explained. “Everyone gets involved, everyone gets a chance to play. When it comes down to crunch time, we stick to our game plan and execute.”

Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves with 26 points but only managed to score four points after his eight-point streak in the third quarter that helped the Wolves catch up.

“I always stay positive, no matter what’s happening,” said Edwards. “I’ve been through tough times before, so I know how to keep my spirits up.”

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 points but struggled with his three-point shots, missing all eight attempts, including a hurried shot with 1:25 remaining and the Wolves trailing by four points.

Anthony Edwards shoots the ball in the seconf half

Despite taking a 104-102 lead with five minutes left on Kyle Anderson’s floater, Minnesota couldn’t capitalize, missing seven straight shots. This failure to convert crucial opportunities has been a recurring issue throughout the series.

“We need to keep up with their scoring,” commented Wolves coach Chris Finch. “Closing out games has been a challenge for us in this series. We’re struggling in these tight situations.”

Doncic, who secured the win for Dallas with a game-winning 3-pointer in Game 2, continued his strong performance, shooting 10 of 20 from the field and making 5 of 11 three-point attempts.

Irving, who won the 2016 championship with LeBron James in Cleveland, scored 14 points in the final quarter and shot 12 of 20 from the field, making 3 of 6 three-pointers.

With Dirk Nowitzki, the MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals, watching from the stands, the Mavericks are closer to reaching the NBA Finals than they have been since Nowitzki led them to their only championship.

Edwards made 11 of 24 shots, but only attempted three in the fourth quarter, making two of them. Despite acknowledging fatigue during the series, the 22-year-old star contributed nine rebounds and nine assists.

“We have to stay positive right now,” Edwards remarked. “We can’t let negativity get to us. We just need to focus on winning one game at a time.”

Anthony Edwards celebrates after scoring

During the second quarter, Lively experienced a collision more commonly seen on football fields near stars like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, who were sitting courtside.

The Duke rookie remained on the floor clutching his head after the accidental collision. After a few minutes, he was helped off the court and taken to the locker room looking dazed.

Lively was knocked down as Mike Conley, who scored 16 points, attempted a shot, and Towns was going for an offensive rebound, resulting in Towns’ knee colliding with Lively’s head.

Lively, along with Gafford, played a significant role in Dallas securing a 2-0 lead in the series. Lively has been perfect from the field, making all 12 of his attempts in the series, including three in Game 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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