Doncic leads strong close by Mavericks for 108-105 win over Wolves in Game 1 of West finals

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates a score against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Minneapolis.
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates a score against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Minneapolis. AP Photo

MINNEAPOLIS — Luka Doncic had 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.

Kyrie Irving scored 24 of his 30 in the first half for the Mavericks, who trailed 102-98 after a 3-pointer by Anthony Edwards with 3:37 left before an 8-0 run the Wolves didn't stop until a tip-in with 10.5 seconds to go.

Jaden McDaniels had his third straight 20-plus-point game with 24 points for the Wolves, but Edwards — who earned his first All-NBA selection prior to the game, on the second team — was stifled for 19 points in a team effort from the Mavericks. Karl-Anthony Towns needed a late burst to get to 16 points and finished 6 for 20 from the floor.

The star power in this series is strong, and for the first night at least the Mavericks got what they needed from their leading duo while the Wolves largely struggled to run the offense around theirs.

Dallas had a 62-38 advantage in points in the paint.

Towns came to life with a long jumper, a lob to Rudy Gobert for a slam and a 3-pointer on a 2-minute burst to give the Wolves the lead back with 4:39 to go on the way to a 10-0 run that Doncic ended with a 3-pointer. P.J. Washington, who had 13 points and seven rebounds, hit from deep to put the Mavericks back in front with 1:56 to go.

Towns thought he tied the game with a putback dunk on the next possession, but that was waved off for basket interference.

Edwards, who went scoreless in the third quarter, added 11 rebounds and eight assists. (AP)

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