Warriors vs Mavericks score takeaway: Golden State contains Luka Doncic, tops Dallas in WCF Game 1

Warriors vs Mavericks score takeaway: Golden State contains Luka Doncic, tops Dallas in WCF Game 1

The Golden State Warriors take a 1-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals with an emphatic 112-87 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday night. They are now 7-0 at home in the playoffs and will look to stay perfect in Game 2, scheduled for Friday night.

After a competitive start to the game, the Warriors took the lead midway through the first quarter and never trailed again. Coming out of the break, Stephen Curry caught fire and led a 10-0 run to fully open things up. The onslaught continued throughout the second half as the Warriors led by up to 30 points. Curry finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to lead a balanced Warriors offense that had seven double-digit scorers.

Luka Doncic had 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Mavericks to a loss. It was one of the worst offensive performances of the playoffs for the Mavs, as they shot 36 percent from the field and a brutal 11 of 48 from 3-point field.

Here are some key points of the game:

1. Third Quarter Warriors are back

At the height of this Warriors championship core, they made a habit of opening games in the third quarter. They would make adjustments, increase the intensity and before their opponents knew what was happening they would turn competitive matches into blowouts.

In the first match, they showed they still had that magic. While the Warriors led for the majority of the first half, the Mavericks trailed by just nine at the break and were still within striking distance. With 7:16 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors led by 18 points and the game was essentially over.

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who both struggled to find their offense in the first half, finally got going in the third, combining for 20 of 8 of 13 points from the field. Early in the frame, they powered a 10-0 run in less than two minutes that was the highlight of the night for the Warriors. Once Curry starts dancing, it’s a bad sign for the other team.

2. Warriors Cast Steps Up

So much has been said about the Mavericks’ supporting cast during the playoffs, but Wednesday night it was the Warriors role players who turned the game around. Seven different Warriors scored in double figures, and six of those players also had at least five rebounds.

It was a real team effort, but Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney deserve extra credit for their efforts. These two were great, especially in the first quarter when Curry, Thompson and Jordan Poole had little to do offensively. They scored 16 of the Warriors’ 28 points in the first quarter and nearly tied the Mavericks single-handedly in that frame. Looney shot a perfect 5 of 5 from the field, and all told, they combined for 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Wiggins has made a real difference on the defensive end as well. He was tasked with guarding Luka Doncic and made an impressive change against the phenom. With Wiggins in the lead, the Warriors held Doncic to just 20 of 6 of 18 from the field, which was his lowest score and least effective game of the playoffs.

“I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “He did a fantastic job. Wiggs is just a huge part of our defense and our team.”

3. Mavericks lose touch with downtown

The Mavericks’ offensive approach is pretty straightforward: space the floor out with shooters and play drive-and-kick basketball. Their 40.9 3-point attempts per game are more than any other team in the playoffs, and by a large measure, they live and die by 3. In Game 1, they died.

They started 3 of 19 from downtown in the first quarter, and it didn’t improve from there, as they finished 11 of 48. It was the least effective 3-point shooter in the playoffs. playoffs for the Mavericks, and came on a night they set a new franchise record for playoff 3-point attempts. It’s not a good combination.

While the Mavericks missed a bunch of open looks, they also felt like they started to settle for 3s as the game progressed. Although shooting is an important part of their attack, it’s no good when it becomes the only part. The Mavericks had just six attempts at the rim the entire game and only managed 32 runs in the paint.

Still, even though things were bad in Game 1, the team is confident they can bounce back.

“Our attack will come,” said Jalen Brunson. “We’re doing well in attack. We had a lot of good looks tonight, and if we trust our work ethic and our technique, I’m comfortable with the shots we got tonight.”

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