SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Stephen Curry scored 21 points and 12 rebounds, the highest of the game, the Golden State defense kept Luka Doncic in check and the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 Wednesday night to advance 1-0 to the west. Conference finals.
Doncic scored 20 points but only threw 6 of 18 and 3 of 10 from depth. He made consecutive triples at the end of the first half to put his team at 54-45 at the break, but Curry and Klay Thompson helped the Warriors get away in the second half.
Jalen Brunson scored 14 points, but missed all five of his 3 for the stunning Mavs, who stunned the Suns, first seed, with a 123-90 hit in Game 7 Sunday in Phoenix.
The second game in the top seven is Friday night at the Chase Center, where the creepy, yellow-clad crowd brought back memories of that 2007 Warriors “We Believe” playoff team that surprised the Mavericks. first seed, in a six-game first-round bout at the Oracle Arena.
This helped propel Golden State to prominence. The Warriors reached five consecutive NBA Finals in 2015-19, but missed the playoffs the last two years before that race. Now, they are one victory closer to returning to the big stage.
Andrew Wiggins added 19 points and hit Golden State with six of his first eight shots on the way to throw 8 of 17.
Doncic received a scratch on the face in the early hours of a Wiggins hit in the first quarter. The mark went from the bridge of the nose across the right cheek under the eye. Donic also stretched his annoying right shoulder which had been recorded earlier during these playoffs.
Stopping Doncic is the toughest task this time after the Warriors already took charge of the reigning double MVP Nikola Jokic in the first round, then Ja Morant at the beginning of the last series before his knee injury.
Curry made two quick 3s in a 10-2 burst to start the third for a Golden State team that eliminated Memphis in a six-game semifinal series. Thompson scored all 15 points after the break, the first of the game on a tray at 10:22 a.m. on the third after missing his first four shots.
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Curry, last season’s scoring champion, missed his first five 3-point attempts, four in the first, before connecting with 50 seconds left in the first half when he had 1 of 7. But he was involved in ‘other ways handing out four assists and getting seven rebounds in the first half.
Kevon Looney remained in the starting lineup for Steve Kerr when the coach returned to the bench after being left out of the last three games against Memphis with COVID-19.
Looney finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists after heading into the sixth game against the Grizzlies.
Coach Jason Kidd’s Mavericks couldn’t keep up with a drastic contrast of styles with the slow attack of Dallas and the slow-paced Warriors.
“We’d like to play at our own pace, but the Warriors have a unique pace, they’ll come out and put a lot of pressure on your defense in transition,” Kidd said. “We have to be careful with that. We don’t want a track meet.”
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