Report: Miami Heat indirectly played role in Luka Doncic’s game-winning shot over Rudy Gobert

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk explained that Luka Doncic’s game-winning 3-pointer over Rudy Gobert in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves was the result of Dallas running a set that it borrowed from the Miami Heat.

“With 12.8 seconds left and Game 2 hanging in the balance, Jason Kidd drew up a play called ‘Miami,'” Youngmisuk said. “Borrowed from the Miami Heat, Kidd told me the Mavericks play out of this set often. The hope was to get Rudy Gobert to switch onto Luka and let Doncic dance.”

Doncic’s clutch 3-pointer in the waning moments of Game 2 secured the Mavericks a one-point victory as well as a commanding 2-0 series lead.

The 25-year-old’s offensive brilliance against Minnesota on Friday extended beyond just that one shot. He totaled a triple-double of 32 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists on 10-of-23 shooting from the floor and 5-of-11 shooting from deep.

The Slovenian’s triple-double versus the Timberwolves marked the eighth of his playoff career. Doncic already is tied for having the 10th-most triple-doubles of any player in playoff history despite the fact that he just turned 25 years old in February.

The Mavericks — led by their duo of Doncic and Kyrie Irving — are now only two wins away from their first appearance in the NBA Finals in over a decade. The last time Dallas appeared in the championship series was in 2011, when the Mavericks eliminated LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat in six games.

While the Mavericks are in a prime position to advance past the conference finals and represent the West in the NBA Finals, it could be costly if Dallas were to take its foot off the pedal in Sunday’s Game 3, especially against a team as battle-tested as the Timberwolves.

After all, Minnesota just recently won three games on the road in its second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, who won the 2023 title. The Timberwolves rallied back from a 2-3 series hole to win in seven games, and Minnesota beat the Nuggets at Ball Arena by eight points in Game 7.

Come Sunday night, NBA fans will know whether the Mavericks will take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series or if the Timberwolves will pick up their first victory in the Western Conference Finals.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.