The Dallas Mavericks are seven wins away from a championship. The Mavs earned a pivotal Game 1 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road Wednesday. Dallas won 108-105, as Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving led the way.

Doncic finished the game with 33 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Irving had 30 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kyrie had been starting games slow before picking things up in the second half throughout the 2024 NBA playoffs, but Irving scored 24 first-half points on Wednesday. Doncic then found his rhythm in the fourth quarter with 15 clutch points.

Doncic even joked that he and Irving “switched roles” after the game while speaking on TNT. Additionally, Luka broke down the hard-fought battle with the Timberwolves during his interview.

“We had to work really hard to get this,” Doncic said.”We are known for Game 1 losses, so we had to make a point.”

The Mavs lost Game 1 of their previous 2024 postseason series against the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas clearly wanted to make a statement in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. It is safe to say they accomplished that goal.

Kyrie Irving gets things going early

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts in the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves during game one of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Irving performed especially well to begin the game. He looked extra aggressive from an offensive standpoint. Irving even admitted during an in-game interview that he felt a need to lead the way since he's been in similar moments before.

After the game, Doncic addressed Kyrie's impressive performance to open the contest, via the NBA on X (formerly Twitter).

“We probably would be down 20 (at halftime) if he hadn't scored that many points,” Doncic said of Irving. “I appreciate him keeping us in the game.”

Irving's effort helped the Mavericks continue to compete despite struggling from beyond the arc. At halftime, the Timberwolves held just a 62-59 lead over the Mavs.

Dallas shot 2-13 from deep in the first-half of the game, but Irving went 11-14 from the field. For the game, Kyrie ultimately shot 12-23 from the field. And the Mavs only shot 6-25 when everything was all said and done.

Nevertheless, Luka Doncic got back on track in the final quarter of the contest.

Luka Doncic closes out Mavs win

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) in the fourth quarter in game one of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In the fourth quarter, Doncic shot 5-8 from the field. He also connected on two of his three-point attempts. Luka wanted to make sure the Mavs won this game.

It was apparent that the Mavericks were going to need Luka to be more consistent in this series. He endured some ups and downs in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Doncic's fairly quiet first-half was not an issue since Kyrie could not be stopped. But when Irving slowed down, Doncic knew it was time to take over.

In the end, the Mavericks utilized a team-effort. PJ Washington added 13 points. Dallas' bigs also played well, as Dereck Lively II recorded nine points and 11 rebounds while Daniel Gafford had 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Timberwolves may have been the favorite to open the series, but the Mavericks entered Game 1 with confidence and found a way to take care of business on the road.

However, Doncic knows the Mavericks still have work to do.

“That's only one, we got three more to go,” Doncic said, via NBA on TNT.