Mavericks Surprise Timberwolves with Game One Victory, 108-105

Mavericks Surprise Timberwolves with Game One Victory, 108-105

May 23, 2024 — The Dallas Mavericks stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road Wednesday night, securing a 108-105 win in game one of their playoff series. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with a standout performance, posting 33 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Jaden McDaniels topped the scoring for the Timberwolves with 24 points.

The game opened with both teams trading early baskets. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving got on the board quickly for Dallas, while Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley, and Anthony Edwards responded for Minnesota. Jaden McDaniels' three made three-pointers initially put Dallas in a deficit, but Irving countered with his best first-quarter performance in the playoffs, scoring 13 points to briefly give Dallas the lead. The quarter ended with a 10-2 run by Minnesota, leaving Dallas trailing 33-27.

In the second quarter, Dallas struggled offensively due to intense Timberwolves defense, falling behind by as much as nine points. Kyle Anderson and McDaniels' near-perfect shooting kept Minnesota ahead while Dallas went scoreless for nearly four minutes. Irving ended the drought with a transition layup, followed by a Doncic and-one over Edwards and a spinning layup, prompting a Minnesota timeout at the 5:30 mark. Despite Minnesota's continued success from beyond the arc, Dallas managed to stay in the game with strong rim finishes from Irving and P.J. Washington. Irving's and-one layup just before halftime cut Dallas' deficit to 62-59.

Dallas took their first lead since the opening quarter in the third, courtesy of an impressive Derrick Jones Jr. dunk after a fast-paced transition play. Daniel Gafford contributed three consecutive baskets against Minnesota's drop coverage, but the Timberwolves regained the lead with Rudy Gobert's pick-and-roll dunks. The teams exchanged blows for the rest of the quarter, with Dallas utilizing some rarely seen lineups. Sloppy turnovers by Dallas in the final minutes left them trailing by one, 83-82, heading into the fourth.

Minnesota hit two early three-pointers in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to five. Doncic responded with consecutive long jumpers, followed by a size-up three-pointer to give Dallas their first lead of the quarter. A Mavericks 13-0 run put them ahead before Minnesota's 16th three-pointer of the game halted their momentum. The Timberwolves answered with a 13-1 run to take a four-point lead with three minutes remaining. Doncic hit a step-back jumper over Edwards to bring Dallas within one, and Washington's basket retook the lead for Dallas with just under two minutes left. A controversial basket interference call on Towns negated a crucial score for Minnesota. Doncic's short jumper extended Dallas' lead to four. Despite a late tip-in by the Timberwolves, Irving's clutch free throws sealed the win for Dallas. A foul by Josh Green on a Conley three-point attempt added drama, but Conley missed the second free throw. Dallas emerged victorious, taking a 1-0 series lead with a 108-105 win.

The Mavericks will look to build on this momentum as they head into game two.