Kyrie Irving makes Anthony Edwards regret his decision in Game 1 win

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, P.J. Washington
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, P.J. Washington / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks stole Game 1 on the road from the Minnesota Timberwolves in clutch fashion by a score of 108-105, as the Mavericks proved they could compete with Minnesota's stifling defense in a tough playoff environment.

This comes off the heels of the Mavericks only going 1-3 against the Timberwolves during the regular season, but it should be noted that all of the matchups between the two squads during the regular season were before the Mavericks acquired Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington at the trade deadline

The Mavericks were also without Luka Doncic for two of their contests against the Timberwolves during the regular season, and Kyrie Irving only suited up for Dallas' lone victory versus the Timberwolves on January 7, so this was the Timberwolves' first real test against this vastly improved and defensively wired Mavericks squad.

Kyrie Irving makes Anthony Edwards regret calling him out in Game 1 win

After the conclusion of the Timberwolves' Game 7 victory versus the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday evening, Anthony Edwards was adamant about guarding Kyrie Irving in his postgame interview with TNT, as Edwards was seemingly exhibiting a ton of confidence in Minnesota's chances to beat the Mavericks and reach the NBA Finals.

Edwards didn't disrespect Irving nor knocked his abilities to withstand Edwards' defense, but Edwards certainly called Irving out on a huge stage. Unfortunately for Edwards though, he seemed to of awoke a sleeping giant in Irving, as the 32-year-old guard scored 24 out of his 30 points in Game 1 of the Conference Finals within the first half of the contest, as he completely set the tone for the Mavericks' offense throughout the game.

Irving did a great job at attacking pressure and blitzes from the Timberwolves early on, and he was excellent at finding gaps within the defense when cutting off-ball. Irving also pushed the pace in transition for Dallas which led to himself and his teammates finishing at the rim on multiple occasions, as Irving was the driving force behind the Mavericks' offense throughout large stretches of the game.

Despite not even making one 3-pointer in Game 1, Irving shot extremely efficiently against some of the best point-of-attack defenders in the league when you take into consideration the Timberwolves' personnel, as Irving shot 12-23 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line. Irving was long due for an efficient shooting game, but luckily for the Mavericks he has remained poised within all other facets of the game despite his shooting struggles in Dallas' series versus Oklahoma City, as Irving played outstanding defense in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals as well.

Irving even shot 4-5 against Anthony Edwards in the first half when he was guarding him as the primary defender, once again proving that his absurd ball handling abilities and footwork can derail even the most quick and rangy defenders at the point-of-attack, as Edwards is a near All-Defensive caliber player.

Irving capped off his Game 1 performance by hitting two clutch free throws in the waning moments of the contest to put the Mavericks up four points with just seconds remaining, as his Game 1 performance was very telling of how much he cared about Edwards calling him out a few days ago.

Irving used Edwards calling him out as "motivation", and this matchup is something to keep an eye on for the remainder of the series.

Irving and the Mavericks will take on the Timberwolves in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday evening, so stay tuned as we will have you covered with everything involving Irving and the Dallas Mavericks in this series.