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Dallas Mavericks Luka Legend: How Dončić’s Game-Winning 3 Bends Game 2 to Secure 2-0 Lead Against Minnesota Timberwolves

Luka Doncic worked to create some space as the clock wound down, using a screen to bring Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the top of the key. Then, with a crossover dribble, he set up his step-back 3-pointer.

With a clean shot and a shout, Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are heading home with a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Doncic made the winning shot with 3 seconds left and recorded his fifth triple-double of the playoffs, leading the Mavericks to a 109-108 win over the Timberwolves on Friday night.

“I was just trying to get to my spot and step back. I’m confident in that shot,” Doncic said.

Doncic tallied 32 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds, marking his eighth triple-double in 42 career postseason games for the Mavericks. They overcame an 18-point deficit late in the second quarter and were still trailing by 16 midway through the third.

“As you’ve seen with Luka, he loves that stage. He doesn’t shy away from it,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. “I thought he was great the whole game, keeping guys together with his energy.”

Naz Reid shot 7 for 9 from 3-point range, scoring 23 points, but his final attempt at the buzzer bounced out, sending the Wolves to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday in a tight spot after another off night for stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

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“First to fourth. Nothing’s won,” Doncic said. “You’ve just got to think about the next game—not the future, just this game.”

Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a corner 3-pointer with 1:05 left that brought the Mavericks within two. Then the Wolves committed turnovers around a miss by Doncic. Edwards threw the ball out of bounds with 13 seconds left, setting up Doncic’s winning shot.

Doncic took the inbounds pass and dribbled, using a screen by Dereck Lively II. The Wolves switched defenders, with NBA All-Defensive second-team pick Jaden McDaniels dropping with Lively’s roll and Gobert staying at the top of the key.

“I can’t move fast, but I can move faster than him,” said Doncic, who flexed and yelled at Gobert, who had fouled him hard earlier in the game.

The lead for either side was three points or less from 10:50 remaining to 1:29, until Edwards, who scored 21 points but is shooting 11 for 33 in the series – made two free throws for a 108-103 lead. This came right after Irving missed two foul shots, prompting the crowd to cheer for the promotion that rewards fans with a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Legend: How Dončić's Game-Winning 3 Bends Game 2 to Secure 2-0 Lead Against Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Legend: How Dončić’s Game-Winning 3 Bends Game 2 to Secure 2-0 Lead Against Minnesota Timberwolves

Mike Conley scored 18 points, and Gobert added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who leaned heavily on Reid. His 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave the Wolves an 86-79 lead after the Mavericks had closed the gap with a 21-7 run during Conley’s rest period.

“We’re just beating ourselves a lot of the time making simple, mental errors,” said Towns, who scored 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting. “Our defense, which has held us together all year, sometimes falters at the wrong times. Combined with our lack of offensive production, it’s tough.”

Doncic, who excelled in the fourth quarter of Game 1, finishing with 33 points, has been dealing with a sprained right knee and left ankle soreness, as noted in the Mavericks’ injury report.

When he was subbed out late in the first quarter, Doncic headed straight to the locker room before returning to the bench for his next shift. After a fast-break layup late in the second quarter, he was seen laboring and limping. He shot 5 for 14 before halftime.

The magic of the 25-year-old Slovenian superstar’s game is that he doesn’t need to be fully healthy to dominate. Doncic had Minnesota’s top-ranked defense out of sync with his precise passing, often setting up big men like Daniel Gafford (16 points) and Lively (14 points) with exceptional lobs for easy dunks.

The Mavericks shot 60.5% from the floor (23 for 38) in the second half.

“Luka was involved in a lot of that. He makes a lot of great reads out of the pick-and-roll. We tried to show him different looks,” Edwards said. “He kept making the right reads. It’s all him. We’ve just got to figure him out. But we’ll figure it out.”

Frequently asked questions

Who won the Mavs game?

Doncic scored the game-winning shot with three seconds remaining and recorded his sixth triple-double of the playoffs, leading the Mavericks to a 109-108 victory against the Timberwolves on Friday night.

Where can I watch Timberwolves vs. Dallas Mavericks game 2?

Watch the Mavericks vs. Timberwolves game for free on Max! With the B/R sports add-on, NBA fans may now watch NBA Playoff games on TNT on their streamer. You’ll need a Max membership to watch B/R sports programming like the NBA and NHL playoffs.

What did Luka tell Rudy Gobert?

Doncic was not going to let Gobert off the hook after he destroyed him in one-on-one coverage. Following the shot, Doncic sent an NSFW message to the Minnesota center. “Motherf—! “You can’t f—ing guard me!” Doncic seemed to exclaim in Gobert’s face.

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Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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