NBA: Mavericks advance to historic NBA Finals in 13 years

NBA: Mavericks advance to historic NBA Finals in 13 years

The Dallas Mavericks blew out the third-seeded Timberwolves at Target Center in Minnesota to win Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals 124-103 and advance to the NBA Finals with a 4-1 series win.

The Mavericks totally outplayed the hosts in the first quarter, which ended 35-19, with Luka Doncic scoring 20 of his 36 points in the quarter. The second quarter wasn’t different, as they held on for a 35-21 win to take a 29-point lead into the halftime break.

The Timberwolves came out fighting in the second half, which ended with a 63-55 score after the two quarters, but it was too late as Dallas, whose lead was up to 36 points early in the third quarter, had done most of the damage in the first half to end Minnesota’s historic postseason run.

Doncic, who was named the Western Conference Finals MVP and received the Magic Johnson trophy, finished with 36 points to go along with 10 rebounds, five assists, and six 3-pointers, while Kyrie Irving, who made four 3s, ended with 36 points and five assists to ensure the Mavericks will return to the NBA Finals for the first time in 13 years.

The fifth seed Mavericks, led by Jason Kidd, who was an integral part of the team’s first and only NBA title in 2011, dominated the game in the early parts as they shot 54.8% from the field and 44.1% from beyond the arc, while also finishing the game with more rebounds (45-41), more assists (19-17), and more points in the paint (48-46).

P.J. Washington got 12 points and seven rebounds for the Mavericks; Daniel Gafford finished with eleven points and nine rebounds and was 3-of-3 from the field; and Dereck Lively II, who was largely missed in their Game 4 defeat due to a sprained neck injury, returned with nine points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

The Timberwolves just never got going, as they only had two players in double figures despite the large chants from the home fans, who were trying to push their team to victory.

Anthony Edwards finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, hitting the 25-point mark for the 15th time in 27 career games in the playoffs, a number that speaks volumes about how the 22-year-old has progressed since being drafted with the number one pick.

Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 points and 12 rebounds, but the rest of Minnesota’s starters combined for 24 points, as Rudy Gobert had nine, Jaden McDaniels got eight, and Mike Conley ended with seven points.

The Mavericks will face the Celtics in the NBA Finals, which will begin on June 6, with the first two games at TD Garden in Boston due to the Eastern Conference champions owing homecourt advantage throughout the postseason.

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