Anthony Edwards [1296x729]
Anthony Edwards [1296x729] (Credit: Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Orellano strikes from midfield as Cincy wins late

Sunday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals is a pivotal matchup that could determine the fate of both Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Dallas looks to take a commanding 3-0 lead and move toward punching its ticket to the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves will look to steal a win on the road and prove the team still has fight left in them after two straight losses.

The Mavericks are 4-2 at home in the playoffs, while the Timberwolves are 5-1 on the road, having won the first two road games in each of their past two playoff series.

This should be an excellent game, so let's dig deeper into the matchup to identify some angles of interest for players and/or teams to outproduce expectation.

Timberwolves-Mavericks over 207.5 points (-115).

The Timberwolves defense stifled the Denver Nuggets last round, but the Mavericks have been Minnesota's kryptonite through the first two games of the Western Conference finals. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have been able to consistently win off the dribble, particularly in the pick-and-roll game and have created high-efficiency looks for themselves and other big men to finish at the rim. The Timberwolves haven't seen efficient scoring from their top two options, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, but have still put points on the board with strong shooting metrics from behind the arc. While these are two of the better defenses in the league, the offenses have ruled this matchup so far with totals of 213 points and 217 points in the first two games.

Anthony Edwards over 25.5 points (-125).

Edwards averaged 30.6 PPG on 54.1 FG% and 42.2 3P% through his first nine playoff games this season but he suffered an injury in Game 6 of the Western semifinals that has clearly impacted him. He has averaged only 18.7 PPG on 29.8 FG% and 31.0 3P% in the three games since the injury and while he is not listed on the injury report, it's clear he has been less explosive and more hesitant as he works through the aches and pains.

However, with the Timberwolves on the brink of elimination, Edwards will have to re-find his game. He has consistently performed better in the playoffs than the regular season and has developed a reputation for showing up on the big stage. Expect Edwards to push through and break out of his slump in Game 3.

Naz Reid over 1.5 3-pointers (-140).

Reid has averaged 2.1 3PG this season and had averaged 1.8 3PG through his first six playoff games this season. However he seemed to taper off a bit as he began to focus more on the defensive side of the court, making only 3-of-16 3-point attempts in the last five games of the Western conference semifinals against the Nuggets.

He appears to have re-found his shooting stroke this series, making 10-of-15 from behind the arc in the first two games including seven treys in Game 2. The Mavericks' centers tend to stay in the paint, so Reid should get plenty of open looks from deep in this game and knock them down.

Luka Doncic to record a triple-double (+330).

Doncic averaged a near triple-double in the regular season, tallying 33.9 PPG, 9.8 APG and 9.2 RPG. He has gone deep into his bag in the postseason, posting triple-doubles in four of his past five games, including his 32-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound effort in Game 2. With Dallas returning home for Game 3, Doncic has a good chance to mess around and get a triple-double again on Sunday.

Projections and Injury Reports

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics. Injury aggregation by Odds by ESPN BET 

Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks West Finals - Game 3 8 p.m. American Airlines Center, Dallas

Records (Against the Spread) Timberwolves: 56-26 (40-39-3) Mavericks: 50-32 (49-33-0)

Line: Mavericks (-2.5) Total: 207.5 Money Line: Timberwolves (+115), Mavericks (-135) BPI Projection: Mavericks by 3.4, straight up 61%, 208.0 total points.

Injury Report: Timberwolves: Mike Conley, (GTD - Achilles); Jaylen Clark, (OUT - Achilles) Mavericks: Luka Doncic, (GTD - Ankle); Maxi Kleber, (OUT - Shoulder); Olivier-Maxence Prosper, (OUT - Ankle); Greg Brown III, (OUT - Personal)