The Slovenian Luka Doncic, with 33 points, and Kyrie Irving, with 30, led this Wednesday the 105-108 victory of the Dallas Mavericks in the field of the Minnesota Timberwolves so that the Texans struck first in the opening clash of the finals of the West in the NBA.

For the fifth time in this postseason the Mavericks won on the road. The one at the Target Center has enormous weight considering that the Texans completely missed the triple, with a six of 25 that, compared to the 18 connected by the Wolves, could have taken its toll on them.

Doncic scored fifteen of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and was supported by Kyrie Irving with 30 points, the protagonist with 24 of them in a first half in which he was unstoppable for the Wolves defense. In a less than brilliant night for PJ Washington (13 points and 2 of 8 in triples), Daniel Gafford contributed 10 points and nine assists and Dereck Lively had nine points and eleven rebounds coming off the Texan bench.

The Wolves, returning to the conference finals scene for the first time since 2004, led for most of the game, but lacked continuity and experience in managing key moments. Jaden McDaniels was the leading scorer with 24 points and six triples, five of them scored in a spectacular first half, while Anthony Edwards had 19 points, eleven rebounds and eight assists, with 6 of 16 field goals and five triples. Dominican Karl Anthony Towns scored 16 points (two triples out of seven attempts) and captured six rebounds.

The Mavericks only connected two triples out of 18 in the first half, but Irving responded to the difficulties from the arc with spectacular accelerations and tackles that opened a gap in the local defense. Irving, who had averaged six points in the first halves of these ‘playoffs’, arrived at halftime with 24 and cut the deficit to three points from the free throw line, after the Wolves were in 9th.

That -3 was a victory for the Mavericks considered the spectacular performance of the Wolves, with Jaden McDaniels 19 points and five of six in triples. The Mavericks’ struggles from the arc continued in the second half, but the Wolves’ percentages dropped and, with Doncic raising his voice, the Texans forged their comeback.

Doncic stepped on the accelerator and alone signed a 7-0 run that gave the Mavericks an 89-91 lead and that run extended to 13-0 to give the Texans an eight-point lead. Minnesota responded with character, with Towns leading the way with five valuable points to fuel his team’s comeback. The Wolves were up four points with three minutes remaining, but Doncic, with thirteen points in the fourth quarter, punished the home team.

An interference call against Towns, who had achieved a huge ‘tap-in’ for a possible 104-104 tie, stopped the Wolves from choking in the final seconds and succumbing to their fans. It was a blow to the Mavericks’ table, on a night in which they also had great trouble from the three-point line.