The Timberwolves offense Thursday night looked like a middle school at the final bell on the last day of school.

Total chaos. Bodies running in every direction, disorderly and frenetic. The pressure of the moment caused the Wolves to melt.

And the more Luka Doncic rained down three-pointers, the worse it got for the home team.

A flicker of hope ignited two days earlier got doused by a cold bucket of water in the first 24 minutes of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, bringing a thud finish to the best and most exciting Wolves season in the organization's 35 years of existence.

A first half messier than a teenager's bedroom doomed the Wolves' bid to extend the series with a 124-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center.

The Wolves trailed by as many as 36 points and were never really a threat after the first quarter.

"Offensively, we never really settled in," coach Chris Finch said. "Their physicality bothered us."

One stat encapsulated the difference in the team's offensive efficiency: Doncic and Kyrie Irving outscored the Wolves by themselves (44-40) in the first half as the Mavs took a 69-40 lead to the locker room.

The Mavs' dynamic duo combined for 17 made shots in the first half. The Wolves saw only 15 of their shots go through the net.

The end of the half was emblematic of their struggles. The Wolves passed the ball around indecisively, with Karl-Anthony Towns turning down a shot late in the shot clock, instead throwing the ball to Kyle Anderson, who couldn't get a rushed shot off in time.

Fans booed as the Wolves left the court.

The second half was nothing more than a pickup game with expensive tickets.

"We never clicked all together as a team in this series," Anthony Edwards said. "Not even one game. The last two series we all were clicking at one time."

A nagging problem for the Wolves resurfaced at the worst possible time. While the Wolves owned the NBA's No. 1 defense this season, they finished 17th in offensive rating. Not even in the top half of the league. That put too much stress on their defense to bail them out.

Game 5 got away early as Doncic put on a shooting display in the first quarter, and the Wolves' lack of composure caused their offense to resemble five guys taking five separate cabs.

The Dallas defense forced them into sloppy turnovers and missed shots in the paint. The Wolves got sucked into throwing the ball to Gobert off pick-and-rolls over and over. The offense should never run through Gobert as a primary scoring option.

The lowlights also included two shot-clock violations, back-to-back missed shots by little-used Jordan McLaughlin and a stretch of 6 minutes, 51 seconds without making a field goal.

"The game kind of slipped away from us in the first quarter when we missed a lot of easy stuff, went one-on-one too early, just kind of got busted out of any kind of offensive structure," Finch said.

Finch came to the interview room inside Target Center two hours before tipoff with an agenda. He lamented that the Mavs were getting away with illegal screens, saying his team wasn't "getting enough respect" from the officials.

The Wolves were so discombobulated offensively in the first half that illegal screens were the least of their problems.

A primary mission for President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly will be to find more outside shooting, which was a glaring issue in this series. Too many players either went into slumps or are not suited to be considered reliable scoring options.

"I think it's all about making shots," Edwards said. "This series alone, I don't think we shot the ball particularly well from the three-point line. That hurt us. They were able to sit in the gaps all series and make it tough on me. The game plan worked because we weren't making shots."