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Timberwolves: Mavericks eliminate Timberwolves in Game 5 rout to advance to ...

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Published Time: 31.05.2024 - 01:13:06 Modified Time: 31.05.2024 - 01:13:06

Doncic set a defiant tone by starting 4 for 4, hitting rainbows from 28 and 31 feet as he turned to talk trash to the courtside fans with each swish, often with a sly smile. He drained a 32-footer later in a first quarter as the Mavs closed on a 17-1 spurt, a run they pushed to 28-5 over a nine-minute stretch. Timberwolves


Irving improved to 15-1 in his career in closeout games in the playoffs.

Doncic set a defiant tone by starting 4 for 4, hitting rainbows from 28 and 31 feet as he turned to talk trash to the courtside fans with each swish, often with a sly smile. He drained a 32-footer later in a first quarter as the Mavs closed on a 17-1 spurt, a run they pushed to 28-5 over a nine-minute stretch.

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

Doncic, who shot 14 for 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and his savvy sidekick Irving, who has a championship ring from 2016 with Cleveland, were the superior stars in this series as this Wolves team found its first taste of a sustained postseason run to be a bitter — but perhaps ultimately beneficial — one.

Though he familiarly and persistently waved his arms at the officials almost every time a whistle didn’t go his way, the 25-year-old Doncic played with an unshakeable confidence and unflappable joy from start to finish. As he was taunted by the fans with a “Flopper!” chant when he shot free throws in the third quarter, Doncic smiled and mockingly mouthed the words along with them.

Edwards, though he hit the 25-point mark 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 they don’t yet have a championship offense despite his dynamic skills and clutch mentality.

They had several wince-inducing possessions in the decisive first half, with the coaches struggling to find a group that could play in sync together.

As the final seconds of the second quarter ticked away, Edwards drove to the lane and kicked the ball to the corner to Kyle Anderson, who swung it back to Towns on the wing and failed to find a look he liked. He passed back to Anderson, who tried to move closer and had the shot clock expire on him.

P.J. Washington, who had 12 points, flexed his arms in celebration of yet another stifling defensive sequence by the Mavs.

The Mavs got 7-foot-1 rookie Dereck Lively II back from the sprained neck that kept him out of the previous game, restoring the complete rim protection duo with Daniel Gafford that helped them disrupt Rudy Gobert in the post and just everyone else who tried to attack the basket.

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