Wolves Exit Playoffs After Luka Doncic Outscores Them in First Quarter of Game 5 Blowout

The Dallas Mavericks advanced to the NBA Finals after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves by a score of 124-103, securing a 3-2 series victory. The game was dominated by Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic, who scored 20 of his 36 points in the first quarter and helped his team jump to an early lead that they never surrendered. The Wolves struggled to keep up with Doncic and fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving, who combined for 72 points.

The loss extends the Timberwolves' championship drought, which is now the longest among all North American pro sports markets. The last time a men's team from Minnesota won a championship was in 1991, when the Twins won the World Series. Other than the Minnesota Lynx, who have won four WNBA titles, no other team from the state has brought home a title. This is despite the state hosting teams in all four major sports.

Mike Conley started for the Timberwolves despite being a game-time decision due to ankle and Achilles soreness. He played just 21 minutes as the game ended with the Mavericks well ahead. The Mavericks also welcomed back Dereck Lively II, who returned from a neck sprain. Lively played with a lot of energy and helped his team protect the rim and grab offensive rebounds.

Wolves coach Chris Finch has been using crutches to get around after knee surgery but ditched them for the game. He was active on the bench, constantly yelling at the referees, and even got a technical foul in the game. Garnett, a Basketball Hall of Famer, believes the Wolves' lack of conditioning might be an issue. He notes how Jordan, Bryant, and James all played until nearly July by working out well into the summer, while his own experience with the Wolves helped him win a championship with Boston in 2008.

After the game, the Wolves headed back to Minneapolis, their championship drought extended to another year.

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