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Dallas Mavericks back in NBA Finals for first time since 2011 | Locked On Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Luka Doncic
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May 31, 2024

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May 31, 2024

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a.patton@tegna.com

Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a Game 5 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, sending them back to the NBA Finals.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving each scored 36 points to lead the Mavericks to a 124-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, sending Dallas back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011.

Dallas is just the second five-seed to ever advance to the NBA Finals, after the 2019-20 Miami Heat, and they have been the lower seed in every series throughout the playoffs.

Locked On Mavericks host Nick Angstadt dissected the dominant performance from Dallas, which started as it has all year long with the team’s two dynamic guards.

“Luka had 20 points in the first quarter, Kyrie 15 points in the second quarter,” Angstadt said. “They played the exact script they’ve been playing the entire season. Luka comes out swinging, he makes the team bend to his will, then Kyrie comes out whenever he needs to, and takes them across the finish line.”

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Doncic scored 20 points in the first quarter, making eight of his first 10 shots. The 25-year-old superstar averaged 32.4 points per game in the series, and was named the Western Conference Finals MVP.

Doncic and Irving provided the offense for Dallas, but it was the team’s elite defense that helped ensure a victory and a date with the Boston Celtics in the finals.

Role players like PJ Washington (12 and 7) Daniel Gafford (11 and 9) Derrick Jones Jr (5 and 2) and rookie Dereck Lively – who missed Game 4 with a strained neck but had nine points, eight rebounds, and three assists in Game 5 – stepped up for Dallas and helped limit Minnesota to just 40 first half points.

The Mavs are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since Dirk Nowitzki willed the team to a title against Miami in 2011. The starting point guard for that Dallas team, Jason Kidd, is now the team’s head coach. He joins Bill Russell and Pat Riley as players and coaches who made the NBA Finals with the same franchise.

Dallas and Boston will square off for Game 1 on Thursday, June 6 in Boston. Tip is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET.

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