Doncic leads Mavs to second victory in Western Conference Finals

Dallas extends its lead in the series and is two wins away from reaching the NBA Finals.

(AFP A basket by Luka Doncic with three seconds left decided the second game of the NBA Western Conference Finals in favor of the Dallas Mavericks, who defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-108 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Doncic, 25, continues to overcome the difficulties caused by an injury to his left knee to lead the Mavericks. He played 35 minutes with a stellar stat line of 32 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

"I was just trying to get to my spot and step back. I'm confident in that shot," Doncic said of the game-winning shot. "I can't move fast, but I can move faster than [Rudy Gobert]."

"Some players score better and others score worse, I just try to play basketball. I think we have shown confidence and positive energy, it is never lost until the buzzer sounds."

Kyrie Irving shot 44% (7/16) from the field with 20 points, although he had foul problems that not only limited his minutes but also his aggressiveness.

However, it was Irving who with 10:22 left in the game scored the 3-pointer that gave Dallas the lead 87-86 for the first time since 7-6 in the first quarter, and from that moment on, the game was back and forth.

"It was a great performance, Luka was spectacular and that's the type of leadership we're talking about," Irving said after the game. "We all contributed, and it was necessary in these games. Luka is a warrior and every time we have him on the court we have a chance to win."

Derrick Lively II was the third key piece of the night for Dallas with 14 points and 9 rebounds. The first-year center was perfect in his 6 attempts from the court and also made a defensive impact in the climactic moments of the game.

The Timberwolves reached a lead of up to 18 points in the first half, but the Mavericks' response came in the third quarter in which they managed to shorten the gap to 7.  They started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run.

Minnesota spread the production on offense, with four of its five starters scoring over 12 points. They were joined by Naz Reid, winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award, with seven 3-pointers and 23 points.

Anthony Edwards did not have his best night in terms of efficiency, connecting on 5 of his 17 attempts from the field, similar to Dominican-American center Karl-Anthony Towns, who added 15 points on 25% from the field.

For the second consecutive game, the Timberwolves had the lead late in the game but could not hold on. A poor pass by Edwards and a video review led to Dallas' last opportunity that became the winning 3-pointer.

The series will continue on Sunday with the first of two consecutive games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.