The playoffs are heating up and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips as Golden State Warriors look to finish off Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
11:00 (AEST), Fri 27th May @ American Airlines Center, Dallas
History: Played 179: Mavericks 92 V Warriors 87
Last meeting: May 25, 2022: Mavericks 119 d Warriors 109 at American Airlines Arena
Final Thoughts: Dallas Mavericks kept the Western Conference Finals alive with a clutch Game 4 victory at home. At 3-1 down, can they thwart Golden State Warriors again in San Francisco?
The Championship-favourite Warriors won the first three games by margins of nine or more, including Game 3 on the road as a 2.5-point underdog.
Warriors dominate early
Steph Curry (21 pts, 12 reb, 4 ast) led the way in a 112-87 victory in Game 1, while Andrew Wiggins (19 pts) did a great job on Doncic and Jordan Poole had 19 points off the bench. Doncic was held to 20 points (including only two in the second half), 7 rebounds and 4 assists and shot just 6-for-18 from the floor. Likewise, Jalen Brunson (14 pts) missed all five of his three-point attempts in a night where the Mavericks shot just 36 percent overall and just 11-for-48 from behind the arc. The Warriors shot 56.1 percent.
Doncic (42 pts, 8 ast, 3 stl) – who had 18 first-quarter points – and Brunson (31 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) responded superbly in Game 2, draining five three-pointers apiece. But the Warriors rallied from 19 points down to carve out a 126-117 win. Curry (32 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast) lit up with six threes, while big man Kevon Looney (21 pts, 12 reb) made a big contribution and Jordan Poole dropped 23 points off the bench.
The Warriors remained locked in as the series moved to Dallas. Curry (31 pts, 11 ast) was again dominant in a 109-100 Game 3 result, while Wiggins (27 pts, 11 reb) – who was under an ankle injury cloud – played a huge hand. Doncic went off for 40 points and had 11 rebounds, while Brunson contributed 20 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 off the bench. The Mavs went just 13 of 45 from three-point range, though, in a crucial discrepancy.
Mavs stem tide
But Dallas refused to roll over and powered to their first win in Game 4, leading by 29 points by the end of the third quarter before Golden State made a late rally for a 119-109 final scoreline. Doncic (30 pts, 14 reb, 9 ast) was the catalyst, inevitably, but his support cast turned up big time. Dorian Finney-Smith (23 pts, 6 reb), Brunson (15 pts, 5 reb, 5 ast) and Reggie Bullock (18 pts) all made important contributions. Curry was held to just 20 points, while Jonathan Kuminga (17 pts, 8 reb) was the only other Warrior to register more than 14.
It was a rare drop-off in intensity from Golden State in this post-season. Expect to see their experience and firepower come back to the fore on home court – they will hellbent on avoiding giving the Mavs the opportunity to level the series back in Dallas with another slip-up here. Doncic and co. will go for broke again but are set to come up just short. The Mavs are a tempting proposition with a 7.5-point start, however.