'We got to win this game': Luka Doncic remains grounded as late takeover steers Mavericks' Game 1 win vs Timberwolves

Published May 23, 2024, 1:40 PMPao Ambat

Luka Doncic played spoiler during the first Conference Finals game in Minnesota in 20 years.

Luka Doncic is averaging 24.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists in 15 career games against the Timberwolves.

For a third straight time, the Dallas Mavericks started a series on the road hoping to claim that elusive winning head start. 

Luka Doncic took it personally. 

"I just said to myself we got to win this game," Doncic said after scoring 15 fourth-quarter points in the Mavericks’ 108-105 Game 1 squeaker over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. 


The 25-year-old superstar finished with 33 points--his fifth 3-0-point game of the playoffs--and put on a show in the final frame, leading the Mavericks to their first series-opening win of the postseason.

“I got to be better because the last three quarters, I didn’t play well. So I just came to the game, got to my spot and led the team to win.”

He surely did.

Doncic went 5-of-8 in the fourth and even came up with a clutch defensive effort down the stretch, breaking a Mike Conley lob pass to Rudy Gobert with the Mavs leading at 104-102 with 1:09 seconds left.

“Just being active with my hands. I just read the game. I like to read the game.”

The Dallas star also credited his backcourt partner Kyrie Irving, who finished with 30 points including 24 in the first half, for a strong start that kept Dallas within striking distance over Minnesota in the first two quarters.

"We probably would have been down 20 if he [Kyrie] hadn't scored that many points so I appreciate him keeping us in the game.”

Despite a dismal 6-of-24 shooting beyond the arc, Doncic remained focused on making sure the Mavericks are not getting ahead of themselves after the win.

“It’s pretty amazing but that’s only one game. We have to come back and play the same way, knock down some shots and get another win if possible,” Luka said.

“We have to stay the same way, we can’t relax.”

Game 2 will be May 25, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. LIVE on One Sports, NBA TV Philippines, and the Pilipinas Live app.