Doncic takes charge as Mavericks escape Wolves in Game 1

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Doncic takes charge as Mavericks escape Wolves in Game 1
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - MAY 22: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter in Game One of the Western Conference Finals at Target Center on May 22, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines -- Luka Doncic took over in the fourth quarter and helped the Dallas Mavericks take Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-105, at the Target Center in Minneapolis Thursday (Manila time.)

Doncic, who had a quiet 18 points in the first three quarters, erupted for 15 in the final canto as he made big shots down the stretch. He finished with 33 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.

In their home floor, the Timberwolves erased an eight-point deficit and uncorked a 13-1 run to go up by four, 102-98, with 3:37 to go following back-to-back 3-pointers by Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

Doncic then led the charge back as he aided Dallas to an 8-0 run capped by a step-back jumper over Jaden McDaniels with 49.3 seconds remaining to help the Mavericks gain a four-point lead, 106-102.

On the other end, Towns missed a big triple that would have cut the lead to one. Kyrie Irving tried to float up a dagger, but he also missed, giving Minnesota a chance to inch closer.

Towns once again failed to make the mark from beyond the arc, but the shot was cleaned up by Naz Reid. A pair of free throws by Irving kept the hometown team at bay.

In the next possession, though, Mike Conley was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. He made his first, but missed the final two to ice the contest.

“We had to really work hard to get this one. We tried to make a point. But, that’s only one, we got three more to go,” Doncic said after the win.

Irving unleashed 30 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Mavericks.

McDaniels spearheaded the Wolves with 24 points, while Edwards chipped in a near triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair as the two teams could not go up by double digits. There were 14 lead changes and seven ties throughout the game.

Game 2 is on Saturday morning (Manila time) still in Minnesota.

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