Irving leads, Doncic finishes, that’s the power of the ‘one-two punch’–Dallas beats Minnesota to advance to PO Finals

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving (both of the Dallas Mavericks). They are the quintessential “one-two punch” of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Game 1 of the 2023-2024 NBA Western Conference Finals (best-of-seven) at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on March 23 was a clear reminder of why they are one of the best combinations in the NBA.

Dallas, the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, battled the Minnesota Timberwolves, the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, to a nail-biting 108-105, 토토사이트 추천 three-point victory to open the series.

Doncic and Irving were the stars of the show. Doncic finished with 33 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, while Irving had 30 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Importantly, their performances came at different times.

On this night, Minnesota tormented the Wolves with the power of their perimeter shooting, hitting 18 three-pointers. Against this Minnesota offense, Dallas’ ability to stay in the game in the first half was purely due to Irving. Irving poured in 24 of his 30 points in the first half, picking up the slack for Doncic, who struggled a bit in the first half.

Trailing by one point, 82-83, after three quarters, the Celtics put on a show in the fourth quarter. After Irving’s first-half explosion cooled off, the Mavs rode Doncic’s play to keep the game close. After being held to 18 points in the third quarter, Doncic scored 15 points in the fourth quarter alone to lead Dallas’ offense.

He hit a step-back three-pointer with 3:14 to play to cut the deficit to one, 98-102, and then hit his trademark elbow jumper (a jumper shot from near the corner of the paint zone on either side of the free-throw line) to make it 106-102 with 49 seconds left in regulation after Dallas had cut the deficit to 104-102. Dallas allowed Minnesota’s Nazr Reed to score on a tip-in with 10.1 seconds left to cut the deficit to 106-104, but Irving sank both free throws he was fouled on with seven seconds left to seal the deal.

Minnesota was best served by Jaylen McDaniels, who poured in 24 points, including six 3-pointers. It’s a shame that Anthony Edwards didn’t have more to offer, though, as he nearly had a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

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