Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Live Scores and Stats – May 30, 2024 GameTracker

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Luka Doncic was in his element, hitting shots from all over the court, hushing the crowd and flashing that sly smile as the Dallas Mavericks put on a knockout performance.

Now one of the global game’s young superstars is getting his first trip to the NBA Finals.

Danczyk had a 20-point first quarter in his 36th postseason start, and the Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-103 on Thursday night to make it five games into the Western Conference finals.

“He let his teammates know it was time and they had to take it up a notch,” coach Jason Kidd said. “He sent out invitations and they all came.”

Kyrie Irving also scored 36 points for the Mavericks, who shot 61% on 61% shooting for a 29-point lead before most fans rose for their first snack break to thin out the once-excited crowd. The Mavs went on a 36-run streak in the third quarter and continued to put the Timberwolves out of danger.

“I had a lot of confidence going into bed last night and going into shooting this morning,” Irving said, “we’re going to play one of our best games.”

No. 1 in the West before the NBA Finals begin June 6 in Boston for their first appearance since Kidd won a championship in 2011 when he played for them. The Mavs, ranked 5, need a full week of rest. The Celtics will have 10 days between games after beating Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Anthony Edwards scored 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Wolves, who beat Phoenix in a first-round sweep with the defense-smashing duo of Doncic and Irving. Denver is the champion in the seven-game series.

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“We never really clicked together as a team in this series, not even one game,” Edwards said. “In the last couple of series, we all clicked at the same time and created scenes and stuff. It just didn’t click at the same time here.

Irving improved to 15-1 in his career.

Dancic started 4 for 4, hitting rainbows from 28 and 31 feet and returning to trash talk the courtside fans with each swish.

“That motivates me,” Danzig said. “Now everyone knows that.”

He capped a 17-1 spurt in the first quarter with a 32-footer, a run that pushed them to 28-5 in the nine-minute stretch.

“I thought I’d set a good screen and I turned and he was shooting from half court,” center Daniel Gafford said.

It was Donczyk’s second 20-point quarter of his postseason career, following a 21-point fourth quarter in the Western Conference finals loss to Golden State in 2022. He was named MVP of the series.

Doncic, who went 14 for 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and his eager sidekick Irving, who has his first championship ring with Cleveland in 2016, were the stars of the series as the Wolves saw a streak in its first season. A bitter — but perhaps ultimately beneficial — one.

“You cannot skip any steps. The West is going to become a monster next year as it continues every year. There’s a lot of things we’ve done better this year,” Wolverines coach Chris Finch said. “I’m really proud of our guys. Build another foundation to get to where we want to go.

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Every time a whistle didn’t blow, even as he waved familiarly and persistently at the officials, the 25-year-old Doncic played with unwavering confidence and unwavering joy from start to finish. He was taunted by fans as a “flopper”. As he hit free throws in the third quarter, Doncic laughed and jokingly mouthed the words along with them.

Mavs 7-foot-1 rookie Derek Lively II bounced back from a sprained neck that sidelined him earlier in the game, restoring a complete rim protection pairing with Gafford that helped disrupt Rudy Gobert in the post and helped everyone else try. Hit the basket. Gafford had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Lively added nine points and eight rebounds.

Edwards, despite reaching 25 points for the 15th time in 27 career playoff games, had trouble finding his rhythm amid all the double teams. The Wolves, for all their progress this season, were reminded that despite his dynamic skills and clutch mentality, they still don’t have a championship offense.

They had so many breakthrough possessions in a decisive first half that the coaches struggled to find a team that could play in sync.

With the final seconds ticking away in the second quarter, Edwards drove into the lane and kicked the ball to Kyle Anderson in the corner, who swung it back to Downs on the wing and failed to find the look he wanted. He went back to Anderson, who tried to go close and the shot clock expired on him.

PJ Washington, who scored 12 points, flexed his arms in celebration of another suffocating Mavs defensive line.

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“They won the series. They won the series. They deserved the series. Congratulations to them and their entire staff. They were led by two world-class players who played world-class,” Finch said.

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