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Warriors overcome big Doncic night to beat Mavericks, earn 5th straight win

Danny Emerman, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

SAN FRANCISCO – With 90 seconds left, Draymond Green met Daniel Gafford at the rim, came down with the block and saved it before it went out of bounds.

Green flexed both biceps before scoring on the other end — his third bucket of the fourth quarter — to give the Warriors an eight-point lead with a minute to play.

Then Andrew Wiggins pushed a shot over Gafford with 32.2 seconds left. Dallas never relented and clawed within two, but the Warriors nonetheless narrowly escaped.

Steph Curry — who shot 5-for-18 and went scoreless in the fourth — didn’t have it, but the Warriors got just enough from his supporting cast to sneak past Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.

Doncic, Dallas’ offensive savant, dropped 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. But the Warriors (41-34), led by Chris Paul, Wiggins and Green, won key non-Curry minutes to earn their fifth straight victory.

Golden State’s 104-100 win over Dallas gives them serious breathing room at the bottom of the Western Conference play-in picture. The Warriors own a three-game lead on the Rockets, who lost Tuesday, with a Thursday matchup awaiting in Houston.

 

Wiggins missed his first three shots and committed a turnover, making for a slow start after his 2-for-12 performance in San Antonio. But he didn’t get discouraged and poured in 23 points — including 12 in the third quarter — while hitting half his shots.

Without Jonathan Kuminga, who missed his fourth straight game with bilateral knee tendinitis, the Warriors needed Wiggins to be aggressive. He answered the call with his third 20-point game in his past four contests.

Wiggins also played tough defense against Doncic, but it didn’t make a massive difference. Doncic is that good. No matter which on-ball defenders or which schemes Golden State tried, the Mavericks star had answers from every level of the court.

In the first half, each team traded buckets, turnovers and unsuccessful challenges. At one point, Curry stripped Derrick Jones Jr. on a spin move, but threw it out of bounds on the other end. Later, Wiggins stuffed Doncic, but Draymond Green turned it over immediately after. The lead changed hands nine times.

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