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“Without him we’d be finished”: Irving leads Mavericks to good start

The Western Conference Finals start with an away win for the Dallas Mavericks. First Kyrie Irving gets hot against the Minnesota Timberwolves – and then Luka Doncic

The Dallas Mavericks have won the first game in the playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves and immediately gained an advantage in the conference finals. The team led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving claimed a 108-105 away win in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening (local time). In an intense game with 15 lead changes, Doncic with 33 points and Irving with 30 points were the decisive players. Würzburg’s Maxi Kleber is still missing for the Mavericks due to a shoulder injury suffered in the playoffs.

“We had to work really hard for this one. But that’s just one win, we need three more,” the Slovenian Doncic told TV station TNT and praised Irving’s strong performance. “Without him, we’d be finished. I had to help him in the second half, we switched roles this time.” His teammate Irving added: “It was exciting until the end and that’s how it will be for the rest of the series. “

The away win for the Mavericks is particularly valuable

Irving scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half. Doncic scored 15 of his 33 points in the final quarter. Jaden McDaniels scored 24 points for the Timberwolves, who had dethroned the defending champion Denver Nuggets led by three-time MVP Nikola Jokic in the quarter-finals after a strong comeback.

A team needs four wins in the best-of-seven series to advance to the NBA Finals. The away win for the Mavericks is particularly valuable: in theory, the team now only has to win home games. The second game of the series will take place in Minneapolis again on Saturday night in Germany, followed by two games in Dallas. In the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers will play the Boston Celtics, who have a 1-0 lead in the series after a home win.

In Minneapolis, the teams gave the spectators a thrilling performance throughout. Although the hosts pulled away to more than five points several times in the first half, they were never able to pull away decisively. Overall, neither team was able to pull away by more than nine points. It was the Mavericks’ first win to start the season after five opening defeats in the previous playoff series.

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