Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each score 33 points as Mavs beat Wolves for 3-0 lead in West finals (2024)

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DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic lunged for the ball after a steal by Anthony Edwards, knocking it far enough away to create a scramble and a jump ball the Dallas superstar won.

The Mavericks made all the big plays again — on both ends of the court — and are a win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals in 13 years.

Doncic and Kyrie Irving scored 33 points apiece and Dallas put together a decisive run in the final five minutes to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-107 on Sunday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The 14-3 finish gave the Mavs a fifth consecutive playoff victory after Dereck Lively II left with a sprained neck when the rookie center took an accidental shot to the back of the head from Karl-Anthony Towns’ knee.

No team in NBA playoff history has rallied from 3-0 down.

“Don’t even say it,” said Doncic, who will try to clinch his first trip to the NBA Finals in Game 4 on Tuesday night in Dallas. “But it feels great. But we’ve got to think about next game. Gotta play with the same mentality. They’re not going to go away. No way.”

P.J. Washington Jr., who scored 16 points, put Dallas ahead for good on a tiebreaking corner 3-pointer with 3:38 remaining after Doncic passed to Irving, who sent the ball to Washington.


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Kyrie Irving said late in the season that the Mavs were just getting started. He was right

The co-stars took over from there.

Doncic hit a shot in the lane for a four-point lead, Irving sent the crowd into a frenzy on a falling-down jumper and Doncic found Daniel Gafford for an alley-oop dunk and a 113-105 lead with 34 seconds left. Gafford had just blocked Mike Conley’s layup attempt at the other end.

“They’re trying to double me the whole game, trying to double Kai, so that just makes us better,” Doncic said. “Everybody touches the ball, everybody plays. We come down to the stretch, and we execute.”

Edwards had 26 points for the Wolves, but just four after scoring eight consecutive points for Minnesota to get the Wolves even in the third quarter.

“I never think the sky is falling,” Edwards said. “I’m always positive, always happy. Been through the works, so the sky’s never falling for me.”

Towns scored 14 points but missed all eight 3s, including a rushed 27-footer early in the shot clock when the deficit was four with 1:25 remaining.

After taking a 104-102 lead on Kyle Anderson’s floater with five minutes to go, Minnesota — which couldn’t hold leads of 18 points in the first half and five points in the final 90 seconds of Game 2 — missed seven consecutive shots.

“You’ve got to try to score alongside of them,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “The whole series, we’ve struggled to close games. These three-minutes games that we’re playing, we’re losing.”

Doncic, whose game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds of Game 2 in Minnesota put Dallas firmly in control of the series, was 10 of 20 and 5 of 11 from deep.

Irving, who won the 2016 title alongside LeBron James with Cleveland, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished 12 of 20 and 3 of 6 from long range.

The Mavs, with 2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki watching from center court, are the closest they’ve been to the NBA’s biggest stage since the big German led them to their only championship.

Edwards was 11 of 24, but took just three shots in the fourth quarter, making two. The 22-year-old star who has acknowledged fatigue in the series had nine rebounds and nine assists.

“We can’t be anything but positive at this point,” Edwards said. “We can’t be negative. Try to get one win at a time.”

In the second quarter, Lively absorbed the kind of contact normally found on football fields not far from Kansas City Chiefs stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, the quarterback-tight end pair sitting courtside.

The rookie from Duke stayed on the court holding his head after it snapped forward on the accidental contact. Lively was down for several minutes before appearing dazed as he was helped off the court and taken to the locker room.

Lively fell as Mike Conley, who scored 16 points, was driving for a missed shot, and Towns was pursuing an offensive rebound when his knee hit Lively’s head in the second quarter.

The 20-year-old Lively and Gafford, the starter, played a big role in helping Dallas take a 2-0 lead. Lively is 12 of 12 from the field in the series, including three makes in Game 3.


This story has been updated to correct the Mavericks’ final run to 14-3 instead of 12-3.



Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each score 33 points as Mavs beat Wolves for 3-0 lead in West finals (2024)


Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each score 33 points as Mavs beat Wolves for 3-0 lead in West finals? ›

Doncic and Kyrie Irving scored 33 points apiece and Dallas put together a decisive run in the final five minutes to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-107 on Sunday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

What is Lukas' 3 point percentage? ›

Luka Doncic has hit 34.7 percent from downtown in his career.
Luka Doncic31.646.3
Luka Doncic35.047.9
Luka Doncic35.345.7
Luka Doncic34.249.6
2 more rows

Who is Luka Doncic's wife? ›

NBA star Luka Doncic and his fiancée, Anamaria Goltes, welcomed their first child, daughter Gabriela, in late 2023. The couple first met in Croatia when they were just kids and have been together since 2016.

How many 3s does Luka shoot in a game? ›

Luka Doncic has 4.6 threes per game in his last 5 games in his career. StatMuse has game-level data for three-pointers per game going back to the 1979-80 season.

What is Lukas vertical? ›

WHAT IS LUKA DONČIĆ'S VERTICAL? Dončić is also known for his impressive vertical jump, which has been measured at 42 inches.

What is lukas career high in points? ›

Doncic matches Wilt Chamberlain and David Thompson for the 4th-highest individual point total in league history.

Who has the highest 3-point percentage in NBA history? ›

Steve Kerr has the highest career three-point percentage, at 45.4 percent.

How many 50 point games does Luka have? ›

Luka Doncic has 7 games played with 50+ points.

How many 40 point games did Luka have? ›

Luka Doncic has played in 42 games with 40+ points.

What is lukas career low? ›

Luka Doncic had his fewest points in a game versus the Suns on January 26, 2023, with 0 points.

Who has highest vertical NBA history? ›

1. Michael Jordan (48 Inches): Often referred to as "His Airness," Michael Jordan had a running vertical jump of 48 inches. His iconic dunk from the free-throw line in the 1988 All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Competition is a testament to his incredible athleticism.

What is Lukas true shooting percentage? ›

Luka Doncic has a true shooting percentage of 58.8 in his career.

What is a good 3pt percentage? ›

So when we take the floor for a game, our players must have a goal of netting around 30% of their treys — which equates to about 45%. Every made 3-pointer over the 30% mark is a bonus because it pushes the overall field-goal percentage up significantly.

Who has the highest 3pt percentage in the NBA right now? ›

NBA Basketball Player Stats - Three Point Field Goal Percentage
1Grayson AllenPhoenix Suns
2Luke KennardMemphis Grizzlies
3Garrison MathewsAtlanta Hawks
4Norman PowellLos Angeles Clippers
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What is the NBA average 3-point percentage? ›

Last season (2022-23) was the first time in 12 years that the league saw a drop in 3-point rate (3PA/FGA). It went back up this season but didn't hit the previous high of two seasons ago. It has hung around 39% for the last four seasons after seeing dramatic increases for five straight years.

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