Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Live Score and Stats – May 22, 2024 GameTracker

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Luka Doncic had a strong finish for the Dallas Mavericks, swishing important shots, drawing a couple of fouls and even playing strong defense.

The Mavericks may not be favorites in another series, but they stole home-court advantage from the Minnesota Timberwolves with this promising start.

Danczyk had 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Kyrie Irving scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half to lead the Mavericks to a 108-105 win over the Timberwolves in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.

Dallas held a 62-38 advantage in points in the paint, offset by a 6-for-25 shooting performance from deep.

Danzik scored seven straight points over 63 seconds early in the fourth quarter to lead the Mavericks 13-0 to take a 97-89 lead.

The Mavericks trailed 102-98 after Anthony Edwards’ 3-pointer with 3:37 left before an 8-0 run that the Wolves didn’t stop until a tip-in with 10.5 seconds left. For the first time in six tries under coach Jason Kidd, the Mavericks won the first game of a playoff series.

Jaden McDaniels had his third straight 20-plus-point game with 24 points for the Wolves, but Edwards — who earned his first All-NBA selection earlier in the game and was on the second team — chipped in for 19 points in a team effort. Mavericks. Karl-Anthony Towns had a late burst to score 16 points and finished 6 for 20 from the floor.

The star power of this series has been strong, and for the first night at least the Mavericks got what they needed from their leading duo, while the Wolves mostly struggled to get their offense going.

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“Terrible offense: bad shots, turnovers, no composure,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “We have to be better in clutch moments.”

Downs followed with a long jumper, a layup for a slam to Rudy Kobert and a 3-pointer in a 2-minute burst to give the Wolves the lead with 4:39 to go on a 10-0 run. Doncic finished with a 3-pointer. PJ Washington, who had 13 points and seven rebounds, scored from deep to put the Mavericks back in front with 1:56 left.

Towns thought he tied the game with a putback dunk on the next possession, but it was waved for basket interference.

Minnesota hosts Game 2 on Friday night.

Edwards went scoreless in the third quarter, adding 11 rebounds and eight assists.

“He’s an amazing player. We have to put a lot of bodies on him,” Dancic said. “If he’s going to be 1-on-1, he’s tough to stop.”

Nas Reed had 15 points and Kyle Anderson added 11 for the Wolves, who came off two days off after beating defending champion Denver to win a Game 7 second-round series from a 20-point deficit.

The transition from the deliberate and powerful style of the Nuggets and NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to the pick-and-roll-heavy Mavericks is sharp. They moved with the intent of preventing the Wolves from consistently setting up a half-court defense around Gobert, an NBA defensive player at the rim.

Irving’s incredible burst on the break and run provided a unique challenge and their league-leading defense didn’t face the last round, holding the Nuggets to an average of 85 points over four wins.

“He carried us. Without him, we would have been down by 20 at halftime,” Danczyk said. “I had to help him a little bit in the second half. So this time we switched roles.

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McDaniels, who played his usual relentless defense on the perimeter, was a catalyst on the other end of the court with five 3-pointers in the first half, but Towns had trouble getting shots to fall and Edwards found his driving lanes constantly clogged.

“Jaden was the only guy who came ready to play tonight,” Edwards said, “and I think everybody let him down.”

The Mavericks have bolstered their defense since adding Daniel Gafford and Washington at the trade deadline, as first-place Oklahoma City can attest after losing six games in the last round. Danzig, too, broke up a lob from Mike Conley to Gobert, one of his three steals with 1:06 left and the Mavericks leading by two.

“Nobody panicked. No matter how bad we played or how well we played, there was a lot of hope,” Kidd said.

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