SAN FRANCISCO – The Golden State WarriorsThey have a history with big third quarters. It is not clear why.
Steve Kerr is the Warriors' head coach and maybe it's his best halftime speech. Perhaps it takes them 24 minutes just to assess the opponent's approach to the game. They might need those 24 minutes just to get up. Whatever the reason, they explode after halftime.
This was evident when the Warriors fought back from a 19 point deficit to defeat the Warriors on Friday night. Dallas MavericksIn Game 2, the Western Conference finals, it was 126 to 117. The Warriors now hold a 2-0 advantage in this series.
The Dallas Mavericks dominated the first two quarters. The Dallas Mavericks hit 15 3-pointers during the first half. This was a new record by the franchise for 3s in a playoff game. Luka DoncicAnd Jalen BrunsonThe second pair of starting guards in the past 25 seasons to score 20 points each in the first half in a playoff game was the Guards.
Kerr stated, “I told them that if they develop some poise in half-time, the game would be ours.” “But, I thought we were so scattered the first part. Perhaps emotionally, more than anything. Dallas just came out and punched us. We were confident that Dallas would just punch us. [got poised]They would not make 15 threes in halftime.”
In the third quarter of the postseason, the Warriors were at plus-11. In Game 2, they were at plus-12.
Golden State scored more points inside the paint in the third quarter (18) than the Mavericks total points (13). Dallas scored 13 points in the 3rd quarter, their lowest point total in a quarter in postseason play. The Warriors held them to two 3-pointers in that quarter.
“You didn’t want to react too much, but we also got a lot more on the ball, just trying not to put bodies on Luka,” Stephen Curry said. “Closeout to shooters we know are hot and rebound the ball so that it's our best offense.”
The Warriors won the second half together. Otto Porter Jr. The fourth was a 3-pointer by the Warriors to take their first lead of night. Jordan PooleTo help shift the momentum, Curry attacked the rim repeatedly to keep it moving. Curry scored 10 points of his 32 in fourth, including the dagger-shot that sealed the deal for Golden State.
But it was Kevon LooneyWho stole the show? Looney tried free throws, which he admitted was “nerve-racking”.
Looney was the primary defender and held the Mavericks to 1-of-11 field shooting. Doncic was also kept to 0-of-3. He also grabbed 12 rebound.
Looney is used switching onto Doncic's guards. He was switched onto during the Warriors' dynastic runs. James HardenDuring those postseasons, Golden State faced Houston several times.
Looney said, “I take the same approach.” I'm just a bit more battle-tried. This was my first time on such a large stage. Although my teammates didn't have the greatest faith in me at that point, they allowed me to play and I did a pretty good job.
“I am just a bit smarter and more physically fit now. So I can guard those guys a bit better. Luka and Brunson [Spencer]There are different kinds of players at Dinwiddie, and different types iso players. It was tough to watch those guys. I feel like I did a great job tonight. It's going a long series, so I need to keep it going. Those guys are going keep coming.”
The Warriors have been very focused on Looney's defense, and especially his rebounding, all season. In the Western Conference semifinals Game 6, he grabbed 22 rebound.
Looney's offense took the spotlight against the Mavericks. Looney scored 21 points, a career high. This was his first 20-point game since 2015, his freshman season in college. Looney also became the first Warriors' player to reach the 20 and 10-postal playoff games since the 1970s.
Looney did not work in the dunker slot much during the regular-season, but it is something that he feels comfortable with. The Warriors were able to rely upon Looney's drop-off passes against the Mavericks, who don't have a true shot-blocker or rim protector. Curry, Poole and Klay ThompsonLooney has had the option to continue painting.
Looney stated, “Playing center for Warriors is a different job than other teams.” “We don't need you to do much of the scoring and stuff. It involves a lot screen setting, playmaking, and different activities. A game like that is very cool for me.”
Looney scored 11 points during the third quarter when the Warriors made a determined push.
The Warriors were trailing by 19 at one stage in the second quarter. Friday was their third largest playoff comeback in the past 25 years.
Golden State finally got their first lead of night just 18 seconds into fourth quarter. Porter hit a 3-pointer from right corner. They then outscored Mavericks 68 to 45 in the second period.
Curry stated, “It's the supreme confidence we have in what do,” “You don’t know what people are talking about in a huddle, and you don’t feel their thoughts. You have just imposed your will. As for us, it's the experience and the chemistry that matter.
“We have that mindset and that spirit where we feel we are never out of the game. We have been outmatched in every game of this playoff run, and that's only one. You can feel the momentum when that belief is translated into game execution. It's not about what you do. When you have the chance to hit the dagger or make three stops consecutively, that is when you feel the good energy flowing our way.