Mavericks star Luka Doncic’s immediate reaction to clinching NBA Finals appearance

The Mavericks are headed to the NBA Finals after earning a Game 5 victory.

Luka Doncic in Dallas Mavericks jersey with fire graphic

The Dallas Mavericks are headed to the NBA Finals! Dallas overcame the odds throughout the postseason, as they upset the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers, No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder, and now the No. 3 seed Minnesota Timberwolves. A number of analysts did not believe in the Mavs, but Dallas believed in their ability and now they will have an opportunity to compete for a championship after defeating Minnesota 124-103 in Game 5.

Luka Doncic led the way on Thursday with a scorching hot 20-point first quarter. The Mavs star started out by scoring 10 of Dallas’ first 13 points. It was a phenomenal way to begin the contest.

Dallas made an early statement and the Timberwolves were unable to answer. The Mavs entered the half with a 69-40 lead. The Timberwolves attempted to fight back in the second-half, but the Mavs were in complete control.

Luka ultimately scored 36 points on 14-22 shooting from the field and 6-10 shooting from deep. Kyrie Irving also scored 36 points on 14-27 field goal shooting and 4-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

Doncic was ultimately named the Western Conference Finals MVP.

“It’s insane. This trophy is the whole team,” Doncic said on TNT after the Mavericks’ win. “This means a lot. Going to NBA Finals. I cannot believe it.”

Mavericks head to NBA Finals

Timberwolves' Anthony Edwards amid NBA Playoffs loss to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving Mavericks

Confidence was crucial for this Dallas team.

“I mean, I don’t feel like we’re the underdog at all,” PJ Washington said before the Western Conference Finals. “We’re both in the Western Conference Finals for a reason. I don’t know what people are thinking but for us we’re confident in our abilities… We can’t wait to go to Minnesota.”

Sure enough, the Mavs took care of business against the Timberwolves.

The Mavs’ last championship was in 2011 when Dirk Nowitzki was leading the team. Dirk often attends Mavericks home games and will certainly be rooting for Dallas to earn another championship. Nowitzki still plays a role in inspiring the Mavs, something head coach Jason Kidd previously explained.

“You’re talking about the best player to ever put on a Mavs jersey,” Kidd said of Dirk. “We get to drive by that statue (the Dirk Nowitzki statue outside of the American Airlines Center) every home game. So it’s great that he’s in town to be able to come to the games and hangout.”

Nowitzki is considered to be the best player in Mavs history, but Luka Doncic is making a strong case for that title as well. A championship would give Doncic a serious argument.

Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving get the job done

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates with Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder during game three of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

What Luka did this postseason is truly incredible. He scored at least 28 points or more in each game. Doncic made important impacts in both the assist and rebounding departments as well.

Kyrie Irving also played a pivotal role in leading the Mavs. He was not quite as consistent from a scoring standpoint throughout the series, but he unquestionably had some big moments. And even when he wasn’t scoring, Irving displayed impressive leadership.

In the end, a series win is a series win. If it would have taken seven games, then the Mavs still would have been content. But winning in five games is important.

The Boston Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers. Boston is going to be well-rested heading into the NBA Finals. Now the Mavericks will also have plenty of rest with Game 1 still a week away.

The city of Dallas has every reason to be excited. This Mavericks team is four victories away from an NBA championship.

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