Once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson slowed, caught their breath and stopped fast shots, the Splash Brothers struck a shot that proved too difficult for Dallas to stop.
Mainly because Andrew Wiggins worked end to end to make sure Luka Donči couldn’t leave.
Curry had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Golden State held off Dončić and the Warriors beat the Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday night to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
“Just get him to work, that’s the main thing,” Wiggins said.
Dončić scored 20 points but only shot 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep. He hit consecutive three-pointers late in the first half to put his side 54-45 at halftime, but Curry and Thompson heated up and helped the Warriors move away in the second half.
“Good job. That’s all,” said Dončić. “They did a great job.”
Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed fifth of his three for the shocking Mavs, who stunned the top seeded Suns in a 123-90 win in Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series was Friday night at Chase Center, where the selling yellow-clad crowd brought back memories of the 2007 “We Believe” Warriors playoff team led by Baron Davis who stunned the first-seeded Mavericks in six round games. disappointing first at Oracle Arena.
That helped propel Golden State back into prominence. The Warriors reached five consecutive NBA Finals from 2015-19 but missed the playoffs the last two years prior to this round.
Wiggins added 19 points, putting Golden State forward by making six of his first eight shots en route to shooting 8 for 17. Jordan Poole also scored 19 off the bench.
Dončić received a scratch on his face earlier than a first-quarter swipe by Wiggins. The sign – “make me look tough,” he joked – came from the bridge of the nose guarding the star on his right cheek under the eye. Dončić also pulled his troubled right shoulder which had been glued together earlier during this playoff.
“They did a very good job. Wiggins took it full court,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd. “They go box-and-one, they go zone. We understand coming to the series that we will see that. We’ll come back and see the video and see what we can do better.”
Stopping Dončić, who has averaged 31.5 points in the playoffs, was an uphill task this time around after the Warriors had tackled two-time MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first half, then Ja Morant early in the last draw before squeezing his knee.
“I think Wiggs is fantastic,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Dončić is a difficult finish like the one in this league. …it’s important to make it work. He is very kind. Every great player in the league you try to limit the damage they do.”
Curry, last season’s goalscoring champion, missed his first five three-pointer attempts before leveling with 50 seconds remaining in the first half. But he was involved in other ways by providing four assists and grabbing seven rebounds.
Then he hit two quick threes in sparking a 10-2 blast to start the third for the Golden State squad that eliminated Memphis in a six-game semi-final series.
“That’s how we play,” said Curry. “When you have the ability to create separation like we did in the third quarter, it’s a fun way to play.”
Thompson scored all 15 of his points after the break.
“I didn’t have a field goal in the first half but that will never break my spirit,” Thompson said. “I will always chase my aim.”
Kevon Looney remains in the starting lineup for Kerr as the coach returns to the bench after missing the last three games against Memphis due to Covid-19.
“It’s great to be back. I miss being out there with my friends,” Kerr said. “The atmosphere is great here at Chase and we’re excited to keep going.”
Looney finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists after coming on to start Game 6’s defining game against the Grizzlies.
Kidd’s Mavericks couldn’t keep up with the drastic contrasting style that featured a slow-paced Dallas attack and an up-tempo Warriors.
“We wanted to play with our pace but the Warriors have unique pace, they will come out and put a lot of pressure on your defense in transition,” Kidd said. “We have to be aware of that. We don’t want the tracks to meet. ”
NBA playoffs: Curry’s Warriors beat Dončić to first draw in Western final | NBA
Source link NBA playoffs: Curry’s Warriors beat Dončić to first draw in Western final | NBA