Score of Warriors vs. Mavericks takeaways: Golden State contains Luka Doncic, dominates Dallas in WCF Game 1

The Golden State Warriors take a 1-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals with an emphatic 112-87 victory in Game 1 on Wednesday night. They are now 7-0 at home in the playoffs and will look to stay perfect in Game 2, which is scheduled for Friday night.

After a competitive start to the game, the Warriors took the lead midway through the first quarter and never lost again. Coming off the break, Stephen Curry caught fire and led a 10-0 run to fully open things up. The onslaught continued throughout the second half with the Warriors leading by as much as 30 points. Curry finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to lead a balanced Warriors attack that had seven double-digit scorers.

Luka Doncic had 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Mavericks to loss. This was one of the worst offensive performances of the playoffs for the Mavs as they shot 36 percent from the field and a brutal 11-for-48 from the ground from 3 points.

Here are some key points of the game:

1. The third-quarter Warriors are back

During the height of this Warriors championship core, they had a habit of opening games in the third quarter. They’d make adjustments, turn up the intensity, and before their opponents knew what was going on, they’d turn competitive games into blowouts.

In Game 1, they showed that they still have that magic. While the Warriors led for most of the first half, the Mavericks trailed by only nine points at halftime and were still within striking distance. With 7:16 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors were up by 18 and the game was practically over.

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who struggled to find their offense in the first half, finally got going in the third, combining for 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Early in the frame they fueled a 10-0 run in less than two minutes that was the highlight of the night for the Warriors. Once Curry starts dancing, it’s a bad sign for the other team.

2. Warriors role players step up

Much has been said about the Mavericks’ supporting cast during the playoffs, but on Wednesday night it was the Warriors’ players who changed the game. Seven different Warriors scored in double figures, and six of those players also had at least five rebounds.

It was a true team effort, but Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney deserve extra credit for their efforts. Those two were fantastic, especially in the first quarter when guys like Curry, Thompson and Jordan Poole didn’t have much to do offensively. They scored 16 of the Warriors’ 28 points in the first quarter and nearly matched the Mavericks in that frame alone. Looney shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and, in total, they combined for 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Wiggins also made a real difference on the defensive end. He was tasked with protecting Luka Doncic and made an impressive turnaround against the phenom. With Wiggins leading the way, the Warriors limited Doncic to just 20 points on 6-for-18 from the field, which was his lowest and least efficient scoring game of the playoffs.

“I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He did a fantastic job. Wiggs is a big part of our defense and our team.”

3. The Mavericks lose their touch from the center

The Mavericks’ offensive approach is pretty simple: Space out the court with shooters and play drive-and-kick basketball. Their 40.9 3-point attempts per game are more than any other team in the postseason and they largely live and die off 3. In Game 1, they died.

They started 3-for-19 from downtown in the first quarter, and it didn’t get any better from there as they went 11-for-48. This was the least efficient 3-point shooting game of the playoffs for the Mavericks, and it came on a night they set a new franchise record for 3-point attempts in the postseason. That is not a good combination.

While the Mavericks missed out on a ton of open stares, it also felt like they were starting to settle for 3-pointers as the game went on. While the shot is an important part of his offense, it’s no good when it becomes the only part. The Mavericks only had six attempts at the rim in the entire game and managed just 32 points in the paint.

Still, as bad as things were in Game 1, the team is confident they can bounce back.

“Our offense is going to come,” Jalen Brunson said. “We’ll be fine offensively. We looked really good tonight, and if we just rely on our work ethic and technique, I’m comfortable with the shots we got tonight.”

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