The Golden State Warriors (2-0) visited the Dallas Mavericks (0-2) as the series shifted southeast for Games 3 and 4. Golden State was looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Mavericks. Dallas was looking to avoid the historically insurmountable 3-0 deficit. The Warriors took advantage of a frigid shooting night from the Mavericks to take a 3-0 series lead with a 109-100 victory.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 31 points on 20 field goal attempts and 6 free throws. He also registered 11 assists and pulled down 5 rebounds.
Andrew Wiggins was right behind Curry with 27 points on 20 field goal attempts and 5 free throw attempts. He secured 11 rebounds, too.
Luka Doncic led all scorers with 40 points on 23 shots and 17 free throw attempts. He also ripped down 11 rebounds.
Here are 3 observations from the Warriors’ win.
The Mavericks can't buy one
There is certainly a tendency in modern sports media to complicate analysis with complex analytical numbers. But, good analysis will feature a blend of complexity and simplicity. Some nights, it’s as simple as making or missing shots. Dallas did a ton of that on Sunday.
The Mavericks made 13 of their 45 three-point attempts. They only attempted 30 two-point shots. They’ve certainly forged an identity on dribble penetration, touching the paint, and kicking to the vacant man as the defense breaks into rotation. But, they died by the 3 in Game 3.
Reggie Bullock, 0-for-7 from deep and 0-for-10 from the field.
Maxi Kleber, 0-for-5 from the field, all of which were threes.
Davis Bertans, 1-for-3 from the field, 0-for-2 from beyond the arc.
That’s 3 rotation players combining for 1-for-15 from the field. The Mavs had chances, they just didn’t make shots.
Warriors own the offensive glass
Golden State kept Dallas at an arm’s length throughout the 2nd half because of offensive rebounding. Dallas had 7 opportunities for extra plays; Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney combined to create 10 extra plays for Golden State’s offense in the game.
As a team, the Warriors doubled up the Mavericks on the extra plays. The vulnerable point — the back-breaking product of extra plays off the glass — is that offensive rebounding generates backdoor cuts or open triples. Whether it was Klay Thompson or Curry stepping into open looks on the kick-out from offensive rebounds, or Wiggins slipping behind Dallas for finishes at the rim, the Warriors capitalized on the surplus in plays.
Andrew Wiggins owns the fourth quarter
Wiggins did more than be the Robin to Curry’s Batman in the box score. He scored huge points all fourth quarter long.
Get your cameras out:
Remember that offensive rebounding surplus I talked about?
As part of his massive fourth quarter, Wiggins flushed 3 free throws on a silly foul from Doncic to extend Golden State’s lead to 14 points. To cap his slam fest, the former 1st overall pick threw one down with one hand working the dunker spot to put the game away.
The Warriors (3-0) will look to solidify their berth in the NBA Finals with a victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday in Dallas. Game 4 tips off at 9 PM, Eastern time. You can catch the drama on TNT.