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After 13 years: Dallas Mavericks reach NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks have reached the NBA finals for the first time since winning the title in 2011. The team led by Luka Doncic beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 4:1

The Dallas Mavericks have reached the NBA finals for the third time in their history. There, Luka Doncic and Co. will face the Boston Celtics. Dallas won 124:103 (69:40) at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday evening (local time) to clinch the Western Conference finals series 4:1.

The team of Doncic and Kyrie Irving dominated game five of the series, especially in the first half. Doncic and Irving scored 44 points more than Minnesota before the break. In the end, both scored 36 points each – Doncic’s best in this year’s play-offs. That was also the gap in the third quarter. After that, Dallas safely pulled off the win.

“When I got up this morning, I had the most confidence,” said Irving. “I had the feeling that we were going to play one of our best games.” He was to be proved right. Doncic also remained focused throughout the game. It was telling when he didn’t let himself get flustered during a free throw, even though a spectator had loudly and clearly called him a “flopper”. The Slovenian simply smiled away the accusation. “My attitude was: We have to set the tone,” said Doncic, who received a lot of praise for his play and demeanor, for example from Head Coach Jason Kidd: “He sent out invitations to his teammates and they all came. “

First final appearance without Nowitzki

Maxi Kleber scored three points in just under nine minutes. Like Doncic, this is the 32-year-old from Würzburg’s first NBA final. Dallas has only ever reached the finals twice in the Dirk Nowitzki era. In 2006, the Texans lost to the Miami Heat; five years later, they got their revenge, including with current Dallas head coach Jason Kidd as playmaker. Nowitzki, who is in the hall for many of the Mavericks’ games, paid tribute to reaching the final in short and clear terms: “Finals!!!! Let’s go!”, he wrote on X.

The first final game will take place on Friday night next week (2.30 a.m. German time) in Boston. The Celtics, who beat the Indiana Pacers 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, were the best team of the regular season.

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