SAN FRANCISCO – Stephen Curry has scored 21 points as the Golden State Warriors bottled up Luka Donsic and the Dallas Mavericks in their opening match of the Western Conference Final Series on Wednesday, winning 112-87.
Three days after the destruction of the Donetsk Phoenix Suns, the Slovenians find it even tougher against a ruthless Golden State at the San Francisco Chase Center.
It rained buckets in Dallas against Phoenix in Arizona on Sunday, but the scoring against the six-time NBA champions dried up.
The Warriors started slowly but pulled decisively in the second half after leading 54-45 at half time.
Donsick suffered a shoulder injury, and the Warriors advanced to the final with 19 points, beating the spectators 34-24 in the third quarter.
An 8-0 start in the fourth quarter cleared the Warriors by 26 points, effectively keeping the game out of reach 96-69.
With five minutes left in the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was able to recall his starters, a valuable respite for what could be a long series.
Curry led the scoring with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins had 19 points.
“We did what we were supposed to do – we won the first game, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Curry said.
“We had a specific game plan and for the most part we did it. It will take three more attempts to defeat this team. “
Kerr praised Wiggins’ defensive performance in shutting down Donsick.
“The Wigs were great,” Kerr said. “Donsik is a tough cover in this league.
“We just told Andrew to hunt him down and watch him as much as possible. He has done a great job. ”
Clay Thompson failed to score a point in the first two quarters but fell into the crease with 15 points in the second half. Seven Warriors players finished in double figures.
Donsick led the Mavericks to scoring with 20 points, but cut a frustrating picture after a defeat where Dallas was almost entirely behind the game.
The 23-year-old insisted though that there was still time to turn the series around.
“It’s a game,” Doncic said. “That’s the thing about the playoffs. If you lose one point or 40 points, it’s just a loss. We have to be ready for two matches now.
“But I have to get better. I have to be better for the whole group and it’s up to me. “
Dallas coach Jason Kidd noted that his team had overcome a 2-0 series deficit against Phoenix.
“We’ve lost two games in a row on the road before and found a way back into the series,” Kidd said.
“It’s a game. They did their part and we were able to find out. But give them credit, they were good tonight.
Dallas was just nine points behind at halftime after a great shooting performance in the first two quarters.
Mavus made 14 of 44 attempts off the field in the first half and just seven of 29 three-point attempts.
Yet they were able to keep an eye on the Warriors, who fired 22 of 39 shots but only five of 18 attempts from outside the arc.
Thompson made just four attempts off the field in the first half – and missed them – while Cario converted just one of six three-point attempts off the long range.
The Mavericks pulled in two points at 35-33 in the middle of the second quarter, but Curry saw the Warriors clear once again to lay the groundwork for a 11-2 run, with three-pointers set for Pool and Wiggins. .
The two games of the series will be held in San Francisco on Friday.
The winner of the Western Conference Final will play the winner of the Eastern Conference in the NBA Final, either Boston or Miami.
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