If you watched the first 24 minutes of Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night but stopped the game at halftime, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that the Warriors ended up winning, 126-117. The Mavericks led the 72-58 game at halftime and seemed to be in control of the match. However, the match made a full 180 in the second half.
Golden State outplayed Dallas by 12 in the third quarter, then outpaced the Mavs by 11 in the final frame to secure the win. With the win, the Warriors advanced 2-0 in the series, which will now go to Dallas for games 3 and 4.
Luka Doncic did everything he could for Dallas, leading the game on both points (42) and assists (eight), but in the end his production wasn’t enough. Steve Curry led the way for the Warriors with 32 points and five assists, and Kevon Looney added 21 points for 12 rebounds.
The loss must have been a huge loss for Dallas, especially after the good performance he had in the first half. In addition, no team wants to be two games behind in a playoff series. Now, they will have to figure out a way to get back home. Before we move further into the series, though, here’s a look at three key points from Golden State’s Game 2 victory.
1. Golden State dominated the paint
Dallas’ lack of a legitimate paint job, or two, ended up hurting them in this game. The warriors were constantly able to reach the paint, and once there they encountered little or no resistance at the edge. I saw this time and again the second half. Over the course of the competition, the Warriors attempted 16 shots on the edge, converting 14 shots per glass-cleaning operation. That’s 87.5 percent. On the flip side, the Mavericks didn’t turn a single shot over the edge.
In all, Dallas had 32 points in the paint (62-30) and overpowered 43-30. The difference in points in paint was enormous, and was a major factor in Game 2.
2. Dallas’ backcourt came to play
If there was a bright spot for Dallas in Game 2, this was the start in their backyard. In the first match, Doncic and Jalen Bronson collected only 34 points and eight assists. On Friday night, this duo blasted these numbers out of the water. Doncic alone scored 40 assists, and Bronson added 31 and five assists of his own. For those who don’t enjoy math, their total is 71 points and 12 assists – excellent production.
Unfortunately for Dallas, this duo didn’t receive much help from the rest of the crew, with the exception of Reggie Bullock who had 21 points. The duo of Doncic and Brunson can’t do much heavy lifting for the Mavs on the offensive end, so they’ll need more men like Spencer Dinwiddie (four points in 22 minutes) and Maxi Kleber (three points in 33 minutes) to advance the series.
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3. The return of the children
You can never count warriors out of the game. Even as the Mavericks advanced dramatically in the locker room at the end of the first half, the competition was still far from over, and that proved to be the case. After losing up to 19 in the first half, the Warriors stormed their way back in the second half to claim the win.
It was the 12th time the Warriors had come back from a deficit of 15 or greater in the playoffs to win the game since Steve Kerr took over as head coach prior to the 2014-15 season. This is the highest number for any team in the last 25 seasons each time ESPN. This statistic is a testament to Coach Kerr, the men he has in the locker room. Even if things didn’t go their way early on, they wouldn’t be upset. Instead, they stay on course and trust that the ball will start bouncing their way, and it often does.
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