The Wolves stay alive and send the series back to Minnesota • Basket USA

With their backs to the wall, the Wolves start the match with increased defensive intensity, particularly on the ball carrier. They limit Dallas to 12 points in the first ten minutes as they beat them 14-2 to take control of the match (24-12)! Despite Anthony Edwards’ 15 points, five lost balls from Minnesota allowed Dallas to limit the damage (27-20).

With Edwards and Towns on the bench, the Wolves take a ten-step lead but concede two incredible left-handed layups from Kyrie Irving (16 points, 6/18 shooting) and Dante Exum, followed by a 3-pointer from the Australian after an avoidable offensive foul from Rudy Gobert to keep Dallas in the game (30-29).

A timeout from Micah Nori revives the Wolves and the duo Anthony Edwards – Mike Conley (14 points, 7 assists, 4 interceptions) gives them oxygen (40-32), but Dallas continues to take advantage of the lost balls to stay in the match. Luka Doncic (28 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) and two award-winning shots from Derrick Jones Jr launched a 13-0 run which gave the Mavs the advantage (45-42). In the tough and with Edwards, Towns, and Gobert on the bench with three fouls, it is Mike Conley Jr. who allows Minnesota to avoid getting in trouble and return to the locker room tied (49-49).

Karl-Anthony Towns redeems himself

While the tension rises between Rudy Gobert (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Derrick Jones Jr, it is the awakening of Karl-Anthony Towns (25 points 9/13 on shots), author of ten points in the first six minutes of the third quarter, which allows the Wolves to take the lead (66-62). Unfortunately for them, in the space of three minutes Towns received his fourth and fifth fouls, Edwards and Gobert their fourth foul! Seven points from Jaden Hardy (13 points) bring Dallas back again, but five points from Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Anthony Edwards give the Wolves five lengths ahead before the last quarter (78-73).

The Mavs enter the home stretch with the wind at their backs. A loose ball from Edwards turns into an alley oop from Doncic for Jones Jr. On the following action, a missed lay-up from Edwards well defended by Gafford (13 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) turns into a lay-up up in transition from Kyrie Irving. Finally, a counter from Gafford on Towns leads to the fifth foul from Rudy Gobert (83-83).

Kyrie Irving and PJ Washington (10 points, 3/13 on shots), clumsy so far, wake up to give Dallas the advantage but a decisive pass and two award-winning shots from Karl-Anthony Towns put Minnesota at +5 with five minutes to play (95-90). For the first time in the series, the Mavs are abandoned by their skill in money time while Towns and Edwards shine (100-92). Doncic causes Towns’ sixth foul but Anthony Edwards, despite a stupid foul on Doncic at 3-point, finishes the job to send the series back to Minnesota!

WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER

– A roller coaster called KAT. After getting through the first three games, Towns started on the same basis in the first half (5 points, 3 fouls). And then everything changed. He scored 10 points in the third quarter at 100% success allowing Minnesota to stay in front. He also made two stupid mistakes that could have knocked him out of his match but the Wolf remained disciplined. He will make 3/4 3-pointers in the last quarter to allow his team to take control of the match. And despite his sixth foul, it was his performance which allowed the Wolves to seek victory.

– Anthony Edwards is on par with Luka Doncic.29 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists from Anthony Edwards, 28 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists for Luka Doncic. For the first time in the series, Edwards held the prize high to the Mavs star. They both had 17 points at the break, and this time Edwards didn’t disappear in the final minutes. He took over for Towns by scoring six points in the final five minutes, compared to Doncic’s seven.

– Minnesota’s second knives make the difference. Despite the performance of their stars, the Wolves gave Dallas 30 points on their 15 lost balls. This statistic could have been fatal to them without a constant collective effort on both sides of the field. Mike Conley, Jaden McDaniels, and Rudy Gobert all finished with ten points or more on over 50% shooting success. Opposite, Kyrie Irving, hot since the start of the series, missed his match by missing 12 of his 18 shots. PJ Washington did worse with a 3/13 on shots. For the first time in this conference final, the Wolves defense took over the Dallas attack.

– Derek Lively II absent, Maxi Kleber back. Victim of a neck strain in the first half of Game 3, the Mavs rookie was unable to hold his place last night. His team missed him especially on the rolls. Jason Kidd, however, wanted to be reassuring about his participation during Game 5. Dallas, on the other hand, recorded the return of Maxi Kleber. The German, injured in the shoulder during the first round against the Clippers, lacked rhythm but made a good start in the first half. The Wolves, however, took advantage of his minutes in the second half to attack the circle in abundance.

Dallas / 100ShotsRebounds
PlayersMinShots3ptsL.F.ODTPdPartyIntBpCt+/-PtsEval
PJ Washington423/132/92/223523011-13107
D.Jones Jr.343/62/31/223543120+3913
D.Gafford316/60/00/026813103-11225
K.Irving426/181/63/320242140-2167
L. Doncic417/214/1110/1221315104130-132835
Mr. Kleber131/30/20/001113000+222
D.Powell30/00/00/000001010-40-1
J.Green171/31/32/201112110055
D.Exum42/31/20/000000100+155
J.Hardy125/83/40/001101010+21310
34/8114/4018/2110283823226134100108
Minnesota / 105ShotsRebounds
PlayersMinShots3ptsL.F.ODTPdPartyIntBpCt+/-PtsEval
J. McDaniels394/82/40/001102101+14109
R. Gobert394/50/05/90101015021+41318
K.Towns309/134/53/305516040+152523
Mr. Conley345/91/43/412371400-31423
A. Edwards4011/252/55/8191095060+72925
K.Anderson251/30/00/0314433000211
N.Reid203/60/10/114511011-1068
N. Alexander-Walker132/52/50/002200111-266
39/7411/2416/256344023239144105123

How to read the stats? Min = Minutes; Shots = Successful shots / Attempted shots; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; O = offensive rebound; D=defensive rebound; T = Total rebounds; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost balls; Ct: Against; +/- = Point differential when the player is on the field; Pts = Points; Eval: player evaluation calculated from positive actions – negative actions.

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