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Warriors thump Mavericks in convincing Game 1

Alex Simon, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

SAN FRANCISCO – After the Mavericks made a statement in a dominant Game 7 win over the Suns on Sunday, Dallas coach and Bay Area basketball legend Jason Kidd said the team wasn’t sweating the task of going toe-to-toe with an experienced team in the Warriors, who have advanced to the Western Conference finals in six of the last eight seasons.

But Dallas felt the heat anyway, with the Warriors beating the Mavericks 112-87 in a game that was practically decided by the start of the fourth quarter.

The Warriors won Wednesday’s game in an unusual fashion, with Andrew Wiggins being the hero of the first half, Stephen Curry leading the team in rebounds and Klay Thompson not scoring a single point until the second half.

The Warriors’ biggest challenge heading into the Western Conference finals on Wednesday was stopping 23-year-old Luka Dončić, who’s seemed unstoppable at times this postseason. Wiggins was the main defender on Dončić, though Thompson and Kevon Looney also took turns on the three-time All-Star.

over and left a large scratch on the Slovenian star’s face.

The Warriors ultimately held Dončić to just 20 points, his lowest scoring output of the postseason. He scored only two points in the second half.

Golden State is now three wins away from its first NBA Finals berth in three years.

But getting those final three wins might not come as easy as the Game 1 victory did.

Despite a rough performance at the Chase Center, the Mavericks have proven they’re not to be overlooked. They destroyed the Suns in Game 7 on Sunday and won four of their last five games of the semifinals series to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since their head coach was the starting point guard (2011).

 

After holding the Suns to just 27 points in the first half of Game 7, the Mavericks appeared a step slow early, allowing 28 first-quarter points by the Warriors as Wiggins led the way with 10 opening-quarter points.

Wiggins made a splash in his Western Conference finals debut, scoring 15 of his 19 points in the opening two quarters. He was one point shy of tying his postseason scoring high.

Thompson came alive in the second half after a quiet first half. After going 0-for-4 from the field in the first two quarters, Thompson went 7-for-9 in the second half and finished with 15 points. Curry also took it up a notch in the second half, finishing with 21 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.

Seven Warriors finished with double-digit scoring totals. Jordan Poole had 19 points off the bench and Otto Porter Jr. added 10 points and six rebounds. Draymond Green recorded 10 points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie provided an offensive spark for the Mavericks off the bench. He scored 17 points, going 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Jalen Brunson had 14 points and four rebounds and Reggie Bullock added 12 points.

It’s worth noting that both teams were without key players. Tim Hardaway Jr. is out for the season with a broken foot, and Gary Payton II hasn’t played a game since he broke his elbow in Game 2 of the last series. Andre Iguodala (neck injury) is also out, though he’s essentially served as another coach for the Warriors during his playing absence.

The Warriors remain perfect in the postseason at Chase Center, boasting a 7-0 record on their home court.

Golden State will host Game 2 on Friday before the series shifts to Dallas Sunday.

©#YR@ MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at mercurynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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