MINNEAPOLIS -- Luka Doncic enjoyed the luxury of being paired with another superstar for most of the Wednesday's Western Conference finals opener. He struggled by his perennial first-team All-NBA standards for the first 36 minutes, but his Dallas Mavericks remained within striking distance of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Irving scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half to buy Doncic time to find his rhythm. Doncic came through as the closer for the Mavs, scoring 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as Dallas came back to pull off a 108-105 Game 1 win.


Doncic, who has been dealing with a sprained right knee since the first round and is being guarded by second-team All-Defensive selection Jaden McDaniels, misfired on 12 of his first 19 shots from the floor before knocking down a series of tough jumpers in the fourth quarter.

KROC-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

Doncic went on an individual 7-0 run early in the quarter to give the Mavs the lead, hitting a couple of midrange shots over the 6-foot-10 McDaniels after snaking on pick-and-rolls and capping the run with a step-back 3 over Nickeil Alexander-Walker.

After the Wolves rallied to regain the lead, Doncic went to work again. His step-back over Anthony Edwards' reach pulled the Mavs within a point with 3:14 remaining. Doncic hit an off-dribble midrange dagger over McDaniels with 49 seconds on the clock.


According to ESPN Stats & Information, Doncic and Irving became the first duo in NBA history to each score 30 points in a series opener twice during the same playoff run.

Game-2 is Friday in Minnesota.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman

More From KROC-AM