The Golden State Warriors used a big 2nd half to take a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. They defeated the Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday night staying perfect at home this postseason.
Seven players scored in double figures as they led by as many as 30.
The Warriors looked like a team coming off four days rest after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in the Semi-Finals last Friday night They played with more energy and effort in the second half and wore down a Mavericks team coming off a long tough seven game series against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns on Sunday Night.
The movement on offense by the Warriors became too much for Dallas, led by Steph Curry.
He was the only player to record a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, both game-highs. He also entertained the crowed midway through the 3rd as his team started to separate from the Mavs.
First Year All-Star Andrew Wiggins had 19 points with 15 of those in the 1st half (career-high for half in playoffs) and he had the primary responsibility to defend Mavs superstar Luka Doncic. Curry spoke about the importance for Wiggins to be himself in this series, “He’s showing everybody what he is capable of with impacting winning.”
“We didn’t shoot a great percentage from 3 but we knocked enough down to win big,” Thompson said.
“I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr who missed the past three games against the Memphis Grizzlies (health & safety protocols) , said. “Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. … It’s important to make him work. He’s so good. Any great player in the league you’re trying to limit the damage that they do.”
The Warriors were a +16 (51-35) in rebounding and also had seven blocks.
With only a few days rest, the Mavs weren’t able to lean fully on their Star Doncic as he wore down. He finished with 20 points (6-18 FG), but 18 of those came in the first half. He also had a game-high seven turnovers (4 in the 3rd quarter) as the Warriors harassed him all night.
Spencer Dinwiddie who is coming off a big 30 point performance in Game 7 against Phoenix finished with 17 points off the bench. Jalen Brunson finished with 14 points(6-16 FG) and didn’t make any of his five 3-pt attempts.
“They did a really good job. Wiggins picking him up full court,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd (appearing in his first Conference Finals as a head coach) said. “They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We’ll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better.”
Dallas has lost the first game in each of the previous two series. So this is nothing new to them. Coach Kidd will make adjustments heading into Game 2, so I believe Dallas will come out much more prepared.
The Warriors have a 19-1 series record under head coach Kerr after winning Game 1 in a best of seven series.
Game 2 Friday Night.