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Lancashire
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Luka Doncic: Irving ‘amazing’ as Mavericks beat Timberwolves in NBA again

Luka Doncic called Kyrie Irving “unbelievable” after both players contributed 33 points to move the Dallas Mavericks 3-0 ahead against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Western Conference finals.

The Mavericks have trailed in the final five minutes of each of their matches in the series, losing the third quarter 35-27 in Texas.

Irving scored 14 points in the fourth and now has 31 fourth-quarter points this series – the most of any player involved.

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“That’s why they call him Mr fourth quarter, right?” asked Doncic. “Just amazing. How many did he score in the quarter? It felt like 20.

“He’s born for this situation. He’s born for clutch situations, so we just give the ball to him. We have a great team. We have big confidence in ourselves.”

Mavericks v Timberwolves: Doncic ‘feels great’

Dallas can seal the series in the fourth match between the teams on Wednesday, which would send them to the final for the first time since their triumph in 2010/11.

“Don’t even say it, man,” Doncic replied when it was put to him that no team has ever recovered from losing the first three games of a series.

“It feels great but we’ve got to think about the next game. We’ve got to play with the same mentality.

“We’re up 3-0 but we’ve got to focus on the next game. We’ve got to think it’s 0-0, because they’re not going to go away easily.”

The main note of concern for the Mavericks came when Dereck Lively II left the action prematurely with an apparent head injury.

“We have to have a next-man-up mentality,” said Doncic. “We’re going to miss him if he can’t play.

“He’s an amazing player. He’s helped us so, so much in the play-offs and regular season.”

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