Doncic, Irving power Mavericks to NBA Finals with Game 5 Timberwolves blowout win

To clash with Boston Celtics

The Dallas Mavericks are heading to the 2024 NBA Finals. The Mavericks clinched the Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 124-103 blowout victory in Game 5 on Thursday night at Target Center. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both scored 36 points in the victory, which the Mavericks led by 29 at halftime. Dallas will face the Boston Celtics for the 2024 title, and the NBA Finals start Thursday.

Doncic scored 20 of his points in a dominant first quarter, as he came out and hit eight of his first 10 shots from the floor. Doncic and Irving each made 14 field goals and ended up shooting a combined 28 for 49 from the floor

It was the first blowout of the series for either team, and the Mavericks ended up going 3-0 on the road in the West finals. Rookie big man Dereck Lively II returned for the Mavs in Game 5 after missing Game 4 with a neck injury. Lively had 9 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Mavericks are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011, when Dirk Nowitzki led the team to the only title in franchise history. Jason Kidd, now the Mavs head coach, was the point guard for that title-winning team. It marks the first Finals appearance for Doncic, and the fourth for Irving, who helped LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers win it all in 2016.

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, see their season come to an end after their first conference finals appearance since 2004. Anthony Edwards, who was one of the stars of these 2024 NBA playoffs, had 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the Game 5 loss. Karl-Anthony Towns also had 28 points, but no other Minnesota player scored in double figures.

The Wolves knocked off the reigning champion Nuggets in the second round to reach the conference finals. But they dug a 3-0 hole against the Mavericks, a deficit no team in NBA history has come back from to win a seven-game series.

“We never clicked all together as a team in this series,” Edwards said.

“Not even one game. I think that was the main thing. The last two series, we were all clicking at one tie, making shots and stuff.”

The Mavericks were the lower seed in all of their series wins to reach the Finals. The Mavs, No. 5 in the West after a 50-32 record, knocked out the fourth-seeded Clippers, top-seeded Thunder and third-seeded Wolves to make it to the NBA Finals. They went 0-2 against the Celtics in the regular season.


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