canada africa partner reservation Doncic and Irving give Mavs 3-0 lead over Timberwolves · The 42

Doncic and Irving give Mavs 3-0 lead over Timberwolves · The 42

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LUKA DONCIC AND Kyrie Irving combined to score 66 points and Dallas posted a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, giving the Mavericks a 3-0 stranglehold in their NBA Western Conference finals.

The latest thriller in the series, this time in Dallas, came after the Mavs won games one and two in Minneapolis by a combined four points.

In a fourth quarter that saw the teams trade the lead seven times, the star Mavs duo led a closing 12-3 score.

The Mavericks get their first chance to reach the series on Tuesday when they host game four.

No team has come from behind 3-0 to win in an NBA playoff series, but Doncic said Dallas can’t get complacent.

“We need one more,” he said. “They have a great team, so nothing has been done.”

Doncic and Irving each finished with 33 points, Doncic adding seven rebounds and five assists and Irving producing 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.

PJ Washington scored 16 points, draining a three-pointer that put Dallas ahead for good, 107-104, with 3:38 to play.

Daniel Gafford blocked three shots for Dallas, including a monstrous deflection on Mike Conley in the final minute.

Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 26 points but had just four in the fourth quarter. Karl-Anthony Towns missed all four of his attempts in the fourth.

The winners of the series will face the Boston Celtics or the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics, winners of a career-best 64 games in the regular season, hold a 3-0 lead in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference finals in Indianapolis on Monday.

Doncic said the Timberwolves’ attempts to stifle him and Irving actually boosted the Mavericks’ offense.

“They’ve been trying to double me all game, double Ky, so that just makes us better,” he said. “Everyone is hitting the ball, everyone is making plays, and man, it’s a great win.

“We push ourselves to the limit and execute.”

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said defense wasn’t his team’s problem.

“I thought it was our offense, it failed more than anything,” Finch said. “You have to try to score with them. We’ve struggled to close out games throughout the series.

“These three-minute games we play, we lose.”

In a nail-biting game, the Mavericks lost Dereck Lively early in the second quarter after the rookie reserve took a knee in the back of the head from a leaping Towns.

The terrifying moment brought Mavs coach Jason Kidd outside to check on Lively, who had already taken a sore knee in the groin from Towns trying to guard him under the basket.

The Timberwolves were down by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but had cut the deficit to eight at halftime and tied the game in the third quarter.

Edwards darted in for a one-handed jam that cut Dallas’ lead to 77-73 midway through the third.

He then drilled a pair of step-back baskets to tie it up before Naz Reid connected to make it 79-77 with less than four minutes left in the third – Minnesota’s first lead since the opening minutes.

The score was tied at 87-87 heading into the fourth, but after several lead changes, Dallas would eventually pull away for good.

– ©AFP2024