The Mavs lose to Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson slowed down, caught their breath and stopped throwing rushing shots, the Splash Brothers started a streak that was too much for Dallas to stop.

Especially since Andrew Wiggins worked from start to finish to make sure Luka Doncic couldn’t get going.

Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, Golden State controlled Doncic and the Warriors beat the Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

“Just make it work, that was the main thing,” Wiggins said.

Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6-for-18 and 3-for-10 from deep. He made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first half to get his team within 54-45 at halftime, but Curry and Thompson warmed up and helped the Warriors pull away in the second half.

“Great job. That’s all,” Doncic said. “They did a great job.”

Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed all five of his 3-pointers for the surprising Mavs, who stunned the top-seeded Suns with a 123-90 rout in Game 7 on Sunday at Phoenix.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Friday night at the Chase Center, where the raucous yellow-clad crowd brought back memories of that 2007 Baron Davis-led “We Believe” Warriors playoff team that stunned to No. 1- seeded Mavericks in a six-game first-round upset at Oracle Arena.

That helped propel Golden State back into prominence. The Warriors reached five consecutive NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, but missed the playoffs in the last two years before this streak.

Wiggins added 19 points, getting Golden State going by converting six of his first eight shots en route to going 8-for-17. Jordan Poole also scored 19 off the bench.

Doncic took a scratch to the face early from a hit by Wiggins in the first quarter. The mark, “makes me look tough,” he joked, moved from the bridge of the star guard’s nose to his right cheek below his eye. Doncic also pulled on his troublesome right shoulder that has been taped up previously during these playoffs.

“They did a really good job. Wiggins picked it up all the way,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “They were box and one, they were zone. We understood going into the series that we were going to see that. We will watch the video and see what we can do better.”

Stopping Doncic, who was averaging 31.5 points in the playoffs, is the tall order this time around after the Warriors already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic from Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early in the last series before of his knee injury.

“I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Doncic is the toughest cover in this league. … It is important to make it work. He is so good. Any great player in the league is trying to limit the damage they do.”

Curry hit two quick 3-pointers to generate a 10-2 run to start the third for a Golden State team that eliminated Memphis in a six-game semifinal series. Thompson scored all of his 15 points after halftime.

“I didn’t make a field goal in the first half, but that will never get me down,” Thompson said. “I will always look for my shot.”

Curry, last season’s scoring champion, missed his first five 3-point attempts before connecting with 50 seconds remaining in the first half. But he got involved in other ways, dishing out four assists and grabbing seven rebounds in the first half.

The last time he led the Warriors in rebounding in a playoff game was in Game 3 at Toronto in 2019, when he had eight.

Kevon Looney remained in Kerr’s starting lineup when the coach returned to the bench after missing the last three games against Memphis with COVID-19.

“It was great to be back. I missed being out there with the guys,” Kerr said. “Amazing atmosphere here at Chase and we’re excited to move forward.”

Looney finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists after coming on to start the Game 6 decider against the Grizzlies.

Kidd’s Mavericks couldn’t keep up in a drastic contrast of styles with the slow-paced attack of Dallas and the fast-paced Warriors.

“We’d like to play at our own pace, but the Warriors have a unique pace, they’re going to come out and put a lot of pressure on the defense in transition,” Kidd said. “We have to be careful with that. We don’t want an athletics competition.”

MAVS FINED

Dallas was fined $50,000 by the NBA, the team’s second sanction this postseason, for “team bench propriety” during the Suns’ series after players and a coaching staff member remained in jail. standing for an extended time far enough from the bench area to be “encroaching onto the field of play during game action” during Game 7 against the Suns.

“I’m just trying to figure out what we did wrong to get the ticket,” Kidd said. “…Who complained? It was a beating, so I don’t think the fans were complaining. I thought the boys did what they were supposed to do. They were cheering for their guys.”

The previous fine against the Mavs was $25,000 on May 6.

TIPS

Mavericks: Reggie Bullock shot just 4-for-12, 3-for-10 from long range, for 12 points. Dallas was 11-for-48 from behind the arc. … The Mavericks were outrebounded 28-18 in the first half as Curry led all players with seven.

Warriors: F Otto Porter Jr. returned after missing Game 6 with sore right foot and contributed 10 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes, one of seven Warriors to score in double figures. … Golden State, which averaged 19.2 turnovers per game in the last series, had six in the first half that led to 11 points from Dallas and 15 overall. … Golden State improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. … The Warriors are 21-2 in Game 1 since their 2015 title run that ended with the franchise’s first championship in 40 years.

Leave a Comment