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Dallas' Strong Finish Beats Minnesota 108-105


PhilBoxing.com




The Dallas Mavericks finished stronger to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-105 and post an early 1-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals best of seven series.

Heading to the first game of the Western Finals in Minneapolis, Dallas coach Jason Kidd was wary of the size advantage of the Minnesota frontline who he anticipated would dominate the inside.

What actually happened in the game was a complete reversal as the relatively shorter Mavs got more rebounds 48-40 and scored more points in the paint 62-32 leading to the win.

What made this possible was Kidd's astute use of 7-2 Derrick Lively II in support of Daniel Galford and PJ Washington. With the three anchoring the defense helped out by the other Mavs, Wolves ace shooter Anthony Edwards was given limited looks at the basket. Meanwhile Carl Anthony Towns was forced to shoot from the distance thus reducing the effectiveness of his Twin Towers partnership with Rudy Gobert.

Then there was the duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving who were both capable of maneuvering or slashing inside to score on fade away shots or make assist passes to their open teammates depending on how the confused Wolves defense reacted.

But the game did not unravel that way at the start as the T-Wolves, playing on their home floor, immediately broke out to the lead through Edwards, 6-9 Jalen McDaniels starting with the Twin Tower with another 6-9 Naz Reid and 6-10 Kyle Anderson coming off the bench.

The Mavs fought back mainly through Irving who poured in 24 points in the first half, Doncic, Derrick Jones, Galford and Washington with Lively coming off the bench to spell Galford.

Minnesota enjoyed its largest lead in the 3rd quarter but again Dallas rallied, this time mainly through Doncic.

Soon, the Mavs were able to even the score and it became a nip and tuck affair heading into the last half of the final quarter. The T-Wolves' guns suddenly fell silent and Dallas capitalized with Doncic leading the assault to forge the Mavs to five points lead until the final seconds where it was cut to three up to the ending buzzer.

Surprisingly, the taller Minnesota shoot more from the three points area where they were 18 of 49 compared to the usually long shooting Mavs 6 of 25.

In the final analysis the reversal of roles with the Mavs
scoring more in the paint and the Wolves seemingly losing steam in the final minutes proved to be the difference in favor of Dallas.

Doncic and Irving led Dallas offense scoring 33 points and 30 points respectively. Washington scored 13 points while Galford added 10 points. Lively had 9 points and team high 11 rebounds. Jones finished with 8 points.

McDaniels topped for Minnesota with 24 points followed by Edwards with 19 points and Towns with 16. Gobert managed 12 markers.

Game 2 will still be held in Minneapolis.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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