Dallas Mavericks Eye Their 2nd NBA Title Thanks to Doncic and Irving

Returning to the NBA Finals stage after a 12-year hiatus, the Dallas Mavericks have made a strong statement this postseason. It culminated in a dominant performance in the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that had just taken out the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

In the series-clinching game, Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic set the pace early, netting 20 points within the first 10 minutes of play. This dominant start laid the groundwork for a commanding 124-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, sealing the Western Conference finals with a 4-1 series win.

Doncic finished the game with a remarkable 36 points, a feat matched by Kyrie Irving, showcasing their combined offensive power. By halftime, the Mavericks had already established a hefty lead of 69-40, which only grew to a staggering 36-point margin early in the third quarter.

The Mavericks now set their sights on the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, a powerhouse team that has looked invincible all season. After winning an NBA-best 64 games, the Celtics lost just two games in the postseason and entered the Finals on a seven-game winning streak. But the Mavericks have been the underdog all postseason and look to thrive in that role once again.

Doncic’s First NBA Finals Appearance as Mavericks Eye Second Title Since 2011

As the Mavericks gear up for the NBA Finals, this marks Luka Doncic’s first appearance on this prestigious stage. The team is aiming for its second championship title, its first having been achieved in 2011 under Dirk Nowitzki’s leadership. This will be the Mavericks’ third-ever trip to the NBA Finals, the other two being 2006 and 2011.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, meanwhile, struggled at home and failed to push the series to a Game 6. Historically, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs, and Minnesota was no different.

Despite solid performances from Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, who each scored 28 points, their efforts fell short. For the Timberwolves, Rudy Gobert contributed nine points and five rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Maxi Kleber added three points for the Mavericks in their victory, further showcasing the team’s strength.

As the excitement builds for the NBA Finals, fans and analysts alike won’t soon forget the impactful moments that defined this series, highlighted in many Minnesota Timberwolves lines.

One Thing to Watch For Each Team in the Finals

Boston Celtics: Counting by Threes

The Boston Celtics have thrived this season by heavily relying on their three-point shooting. They led the league in both attempts and made three-pointers, and their accuracy ranked second-best in the league. This strategy has continued to be effective in the playoffs, with the Celtics averaging 14.6 made threes out of 39.8 attempts per game, the highest among all teams.

Impressively, when they’ve made 14 or more three-pointers in a game this postseason, they have won all nine of those games. Moreover, they have shot 40 or more threes in half of their playoff contests. This high-volume, high-accuracy approach from beyond the arc will be crucial for the Celtics as they face off against the Mavericks in the finals.

Dallas Mavericks: Irving’s Return to Boston

Kyrie Irving’s return to Boston adds an emotional layer to the Finals showdown. Irving, who played two seasons with the Celtics from 2017 to 2019, had a mix of individual success and team disappointments during his time there. Since leaving Boston, he has often faced boos and jeers from the Celtics’ fanbase, especially after a controversial incident in 2021 when he stomped on the Celtics’ mid-court logo, prompting a fan to throw a water bottle at him.

However, since joining Dallas, Irving has been a dedicated and controversy-free teammate. As he heads back to face his old team, it’s clear that Boston fans will not be welcoming, but Irving’s focus remains on helping the Mavericks claim their first title since 2011.