DALLAS – Even at the lowest point of the Timberwolves season, Anthony Edwards was remaining upbeat.

A season ago, when the Wolves fell behind the Denver Nuggets 3-0 in a playoff series, Edwards sat at his locker, head in his hands and didn't say a word. He left without speaking to the media.

Now, a year later, his team faces another 3-0 deficit. But Edwards was trying to radiate positivity in a moment some teammates could have been sulking following a 116-107 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in the Western Conference finals series.

To the slumping Nickeil Alexander-Walker, two lockers over from Edwards, Edwards said: "One shot at a time, 'Kiel, it'll fall. Just trust it."

This came after Alexander-Walker, who can be hard on himself, had his head in his hands à la Edwards a season ago. Alexander-Walker, after a 1-for-4 shooting night, was rocking back and forth in his chair when media first entered the locker room.

Then Edwards was holding court with Mike Conley and Kyle Anderson, saying all the Wolves need is one game where everyone is clicking and they will be right back on track.

"We're here now fellas, what are we gonna do?" Edwards said.

Then Edwards spotted the struggling Karl-Anthony Towns on the other side of the room. He wanted to hear a positive response out of Towns, who had another off night in this series with 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting, including 0-for-8 on three-pointers.

"We here now, Karl. What are we gonna do?" Edwards said.

"Make history," Towns responded.

That they will have to do, as no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole the Wolves are in after another awful stretch of late-game offense did them in against Dallas. NBA teams trailing 3-0 are 0-154 at winning series.

"We ain't got nothing else to do. We can't do nothing but be positive at this point," Edwards said in his postgame news conference. "We can't be negative. Just try to get it one win at a time."

The Wolves had a 104-102 lead after Anderson hit a shot-clock beating jumper with five minutes to play, but the Wolves didn't have another field goal until Edwards hit a meaningless layup with 15.3 seconds left. The Mavericks outscored them 14-3 as Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic again dominated a Wolves defense that has had no answer for the Dallas duo.

Doncic and Irving both scored 33 points.

Double-team them and make them give it up? Dallas' supporting cast like Derrick Jones Jr. (11 points) and P.J. Washington (16 points) were hitting shots early as the Mavericks shot 50% from three-point range compared to the Wolves' 30%.

Don't double them and guard them straight up? Then they were hitting shots, as when Doncic hit a shot over Jaden McDaniels as he was falling down in the fourth quarter and Irving made a contested layup late in the shot clock against Edwards as part of Dallas' closing push. The Mavericks backcourt stars were a combined 22-for-40.

"It's been tough for us to try to navigate that," coach Chris Finch said. "We've been picking our poison here a little bit."

The problem for the Wolves is that each poison they pick has been lethal.

Edwards had 26 points on 11-for-24 shooting, and he came through with a 10-point third quarter that brought the Wolves back from an eight-point halftime deficit. He found room to attack the rim after Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II exited because of a strained neck when his head inadvertently met Towns' knee after he fell going for a rebound in the second quarter. But the Wolves didn't attack as much late, and Edwards and Towns were a combined 16-for-42.

"You play into their hands when you hold the ball and you dribble out the clock and are fighting against the shot clock," said point guard Conley, who had 16 points. "That was the issue we had a little bit tonight, where we were looking down 10, 11 seconds left on the shot clock and at that point you have to force it instead of being in an action early, playing a little bit more."

Edwards was playing that way in the third quarter after Lively's injury freed up space at the rim. Edwards took off for a thunderous dunk as part of a stretch when he scored six consecutive points, and the Wolves pulled ahead for the first time at 79-77 since they were ahead 5-3.

But the Wolves could never build and maintain a lead, as Irving and Doncic seemed to respond each time the Wolves got ahead. A backbreaking moment came when Washington hit a wide-open corner three to put Dallas ahead 107-104 with 3:38 left when the Wolves had what Finch called a "mental breakdown" on defense.

"We have belief against anyone. But we are our worst enemy, every time," said center Rudy Gobert, who had nine points and six rebounds. "And it's a great thing, but it can also be a thing that's not great when we beat ourselves."

The memo for the Wolves to Towns was to play more under control on Sunday after he struggled the first two games. But nothing he did worked. His reliable three-point shot has been non-existent.

"I feel every shot's good," Towns said. "I've shot a lot of basketballs in my life. I'm the first one in the gym. I definitely am working. I'm shooting. Every time I'm shooting, it feels good. I'm just having these very unfortunate bounces all the time. It's annoying."

Also annoying to the Wolves was the officiating, especially in the third quarter, when Dallas shot 17 free throws. That was as many as the Wolves shot in the game. (Dallas finished with 31.) The Wolves felt the Mavericks were committing the same fouls to them that they were to Dallas.

"It's about consistency on both ends," Conley said. "That's all we ask for at the end of the day."

BOXSCORE: Dallas 116, Wolves 107

That's also what the Wolves are asking of themselves.

About the only constant, win or lose, is the positivity emanating from Edwards, who is convinced the Wolves still have a great game in them against a Dallas team that has so far figured them out.

Edwards was asked how he can keep from having a sky-is-falling attitude. It's who he has always been, he said.

"I never seen the sky falling," Edwards said. "I don't know, I'm always positive, always happy. I've been through the worst, so the sky is never falling for me."