NBA finals: Doncic, Irving give Mavs 3-0 series lead over Timberwolves

The Dallas Mavericks’ Game 3 victory puts them just one win away from their first NBA finals appearance since 2011.

nba doncic irving
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving led the Dallas Mavericks' fightback against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 [Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports via Reuters]

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 66 points, and Dallas surged home in a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, which gave the Mavericks a 3-0 stranglehold on their NBA Western Conference final.

The latest thriller in the series came in Dallas on Sunday after the Mavs won Games 1 and 2 in Minneapolis by four points.

In a fourth quarter that saw the teams trade the lead seven times, the star Mavs duo spearheaded a closing 12-3 scoring run.

The Mavericks will have their first chance to clinch the series when they host Game 4 on Tuesday.

‘We need one more’

No team has rallied from 3-0 down to win an NBA playoff series, but Doncic said Dallas cannot get complacent.

“We need one more,” he said. “They have an amazing team, so nothing’s done.”

Doncic and Irving each finished with 33 points, Doncic adding seven rebounds and five assists and Irving producing 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.

PJ Washington scored 16 points, draining a three-pointer that put Dallas up for good, 107-104, with 3:38 to play.

Daniel Gafford blocked three shots for Dallas, including a monster rejection on Mike Conley in the final minute.

Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 26 points, but had just four in the fourth quarter. Karl-Anthony Towns missed all four of his attempts in the fourth.

The series winners face either the Boston Celtics or Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics, winners of a league-best 64 games in the regular season, have a 3-0 lead ahead of game four of their Eastern Conference final in Indianapolis on Monday.

Doncic said the Timberwolves’ attempts to smother him and Irving had energised the Mavericks’ offence.

“They’re trying to double me the whole game, trying to double Ky, so that just makes us better,” he said. “Everybody touches the ball, everybody plays, and man, it’s an amazing win.

“We come down to the stretch and we execute.”

Source: News Agencies