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NBA – Dallas beat Minnesota and got more than just a win

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Dallas Mavericks took a duel that was worth gold for their goal of being home in the NBA Playoffs: they were just a game and a half away from clinching the fourth place from the Jazz. Doncic did not have a great performance, but he was key in the end.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Dallas Mavericks beat Minnesota Timberwolves 110-108 in something that was worth much more than a game.

The Texans avoided a third straight loss, buckled their main pursuer in the Western Conference standings and moved to within a game of the fourth seed for home court in the NBA Playoffs.

After the win, they are just one game behind Utah Jazz and home-court advantage, at least, in the first round of the playoffs, something that has not happened to them since 2011, in a special year for Dallas Mavericks: they won the first and only NBA ring in their history after defeating LeBron James’ Miami Heat in the Finals.

Ten years have passed since that feat and Nowitzki is no longer there, now it is Luka Doncic’s time: he culminated a great game where he was not superlative, as he has us used to, but he was good without protagonism with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was his lowest scoring output since Jan. 26 against Portland Trail Blazers, while his lowest of the season is 14 points against Oklahoma City Thunder last Jan. 2, in performances that fall short of him becoming the NBA regular season MVP.

Despite his low numerical production, Doncic was key in the last five electric minutes when the world turned upside down for Dallas Mavericks: they went from a comfortable 99-92 to a 99-all tie after a three-pointer by Patrick Beverly, the great protagonist of those final moments and who had time to eat the Slovenian’s ear over and over again.

Luka Doncic was calm and did not solve in a desperate way the duel: he bounced, directed and looked to find his shooters. Finley-Smith and Bullock inserted two daggers from the perimeter to Minnesota Timberwolves, who complained about the final actions.

The Wolves’ anger was over a foul three they gave up as normal to Beverly with 110-97 and 6.5 seconds left in the game.

The Minnesota point guard got the contact when he was in shooting motion and it was pretty clear, but the referees decided to give it down. He missed the first one and the second one too, albeit on purpose to catch the rebound.

Patrick received a new foul that the collegians finally corrected: jump between two in the middle of the court and touch of Doncic on, once again, Beverly who made the triple after receiving the foul, but it was not worth and Dallas took a victory that smells of home factor.

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