The Golden State Warriors take a 1-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals with an emphatic 112-87 win in Game 1 on Wednesday night. They are now 7-0 at home in the playoffs and will look to remain perfect in Game 2, which is set for Friday night.
After a competitive start to the game, the Warriors grabbed the lead in the middle of the first quarter and never trailed again. Coming out of the break, Stephen Curry caught fire and led a 10-0 run to break things open fully. The onslaught continued throughout the second half as the Warriors led by as much as 30. Curry finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to lead a balanced Warriors attack that had seven double-figure scorers.
Dallas suffered from having two days less rest. The game’s leading scorer was Stephen Curry. Seven Golden State players scored in double figures.
Luka Doncic had 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists to lead the Mavericks in defeat. This was one of the worst offensive performances of the playoffs for the Mavs as they shot 36 per cent from the field and a brutal 11 of 48 from 3-point land.
The Warriors were not one of the favourites to come out of the West at the beginning of the season, but a hot start to their 2021-22 campaign ensured they returned to their status as one of the most feared teams as Steph Curry also found some of his MVP forms.
The Mavericks learned pretty quickly in this game that they will need to learn to defend space better as the Warriors are a much better 3-point shooting team than the Phoenix Suns.
Luka Doncic, who has almost single-handedly willed his team to this stage of the playoffs, had an off-night. The Warriors held him to just 16.7 per cent shooting on contested field-goal attempts – a career playoff low for the Slovenian.
It’s pretty obvious looking at the score that the Mavericks got blown off the floor, and it happened in a variety of ways. There are going to be crazy makes from Steph Curry and tough shots from Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. But Dallas can’t get beat on cuts to the rim. The blitzing strategy did not work in this game as it did in the regular season.
Mavs’ coach Jason Kidd will have a couple of days to figure out what adjustments he needs to make to get Doncic back in his groove and to help his team steal a win at Golden State before heading back to Dallas.