The Warriors are battle tested.
They were able to overcome a 19-point deficit that the Dallas Mavericks held late in the 2nd quarter by outscoring the Mavs by 25 in the second half (68-43). They were able to take their first lead with their first basket in the 4th quarter (86-85). After the Mavs controlled the game, and dictated tempo, the Warriors were able to hold off the Mavs late and take a 2-0 series lead by defeating them 126-117.
This should be a good sign for the Warriors because they are 14-1 in series they take a 2-0 series lead under head coach Steve Kerr (Only loss 2016 Finals vs Cavs).
“I told them that if we developed some poise in the second half, that the game would come to us,” head coach Kerr said. “But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Maybe emotionally more so than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us.”
After having a double-double in Game 1, Steph Curry led this team again with 32 points as he knocked down 6-10 from 3-pt. He also had eight rebounds and five assist.
“We have that attitude and spirit that we’re never out of it,” Curry said.
Big man Kevon Looney played a huge role in the win with his second career postseason double-double with 21 points (10-14 FG) and a game-high 12 rebounds (5 off). “I feel honored just to be a part of the ride,” Looney said. “Tonight was my night to make a big difference and I just stepped up.”
The Warriors bench outscored the Mavs 36-13 because of a big offensive game they got from Jordan Poole who was second in the team behind Curry with 23 points (7-10 FG), and Otto Porter Jr. also chipped in with 11 points. This Warriors team was able to go on a 34-15 run in a stretch without All-Star Draymond Green who sat midway through the 3rd because he picked up his fifth foul. He fouled out with 2 minutes left in the 4th (6 points).
It shows how deep, resilient, and well coached this team is.
They were a +11 in assist (33-22) and a +13 in rebounding (43-30). Despite the 10 turnovers in the 1st half they were able to keep them to a minimum with just three in the 2nd half.
This one has to hurt for the Mavericks not only because they held that huge lead, but because they shot the ball well enough to win. They made 21 from 3-pt which was a +21 from deep and their best player Luka Doncic had a 42-pt and eight assist effort and they still fell short.
“It’s the Warriors. They have a great team. They’re a championship team. We’ve got to adjust our defense,” Doncic said. “… We were up 19, so it’s a tough situation. But we can’t look back. What happened, happened. So we’ve got to move on.”
Doncic had 24 of his 42 points in the 1st half and got the offensive help he needed.
“Against someone that good you’re just trying to limit the easy stuff,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Mavs star Doncic.
Jalen Brunson had 31 points (20 in 1st half) and five assist, and Reggie Bullock made six 3-pt and helped with a big 21 points.”We know how good they are as a third-quarter team,” Bullock said. “It’s just something that slipped away from us as the game continued to go on.”
This team was undefeated when they had 20+ assist before this loss, and had previously won 13 straight after losing by 20 points or more. They had a franchise record 15 3-pt for half.
“We’re on the road against one of the best teams in the league. It happens. They held serve,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ve seen this in Phoenix so now we have to go back and just focus on Game 3.”
Now the Mavericks head back to Dallas and try to hold serve at home. If they want to do that, they have to avoid these from Curry..
Game 3 Sunday Night in Dallas