DALLAS — Stephen Curry wavered for the TV crew, Andrew Wiggins rocked Luka Doncic with a posterizing dunk and the Warriors think they’re sweeping.
Curry scored 31 points, Wiggins’ playoff career high of 27 points included the dunk that was originally called an offensive foul and Golden State beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 on Sunday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
“He looks like Dominique Wilkins there,” Klay Thompson said of Wiggins after scoring 19 points as the Warriors cruised to the NBA Finals, three years after a five-year run ended. yielded three championships.
Golden State, which swept Portland in its last Western Final of 2019 before Toronto won the title, heads into the Game 4 sweep Tuesday at Dallas. No team has rallied 3-0 to win an NBA playoff series.
“I love the position we’re in,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I like that our team came in and got the win tonight. It was the one we felt we had to get. Coming here 2-0, you have to take advantage of your momentum.
Doncic scored 40 goals and beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 32-footer that sent the crowd going again with the Mavericks at home trailing 2-0, as they did against top seed Phoenix before winning the Western semi-final series in seven games.
But this Young Superstar Shimmy-Inducing Bucket was a blow on an otherwise tough night from 3-point range for the Mavericks, who missed their first seven and finished 13 of 45.
Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, two long-range specialists from Dallas, missed all 12 of their combined 3 and were 0-15 overall. Both went scoreless, offsetting Spencer Dinwiddie’s 26 points from the bench. Jalen Brunson scored 20.
Wiggins’ one-handed dunk on Doncic midway through the fourth quarter was ruled a foul because his elbow made contact with Doncic’s neck as Doncic rolled back and fell. But the replay decision after Kerr’s challenge was an accidental contact, giving Golden State a 93-83 lead.
“I was a bit hit, but it was impressive,” said Doncic. “I’m not going to lie. I watched the video again and was like, ‘Oh…’ It was pretty amazing. I wish I had these bunnies.
About a minute later, Wiggins, who matched his playoff career high with 11 rebounds, quickly moved down the right baseline for a dunk follow up on a missed Curry.
“I just feel the energy,” Wiggins said of his dunk on Doncic. “That’s the main thing when I saw the rim. That’s all I saw. They tried to take it away from me, but…” Wiggins said, breaking off into a laugh before thanking Kerr for the challenge.
Curry scored 11 points in the third quarter, giving the Warriors their biggest lead at 78-64 with a step back 3 in the last minute and turning to the national TV crew for a close-up view of his shoulder shimmy.
Doncic scored 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks desperately tried to close the gap but fell to 2-6 in his three playoff seasons when the 23-year-old, three-time All-Star scored at least 40 points .
One of Dinwiddie’s 3-pointers put Dallas within five points with 1:15 remaining, but Jordan Poole responded with one from the left wing just in the final minute.
The Mavericks, who have gone past the first round since first-year coach Jason Kidd was the point for the Dirk Nowitzki-led team that won the 2011 title, lost a nine-point lead in the final four minutes of the first half two nights after failing. to hold a 19-point road lead in a Game 2 loss.
“This is just the start of this journey,” Kidd said. “I know you won us the championship before the start of the season. And it’s a joke if you haven’t understood it. It is much more important than this game or this series. It’s huge for our franchise because none of you had us here.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
The tensest moment of the series came at the end of the first half after a corner 3 from Curry capped an 8-0 run who put the Warriors ahead by one point and helped them lead 48-47 at halftime. And that left Curry confused.
Curry ran the length of the field with his tongue hanging out after Dallas called time out. As he made his way back to his bench, Curry drove past Doncic with teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson close by.
Doncic appeared to dispute something Toscano-Anderson said and walked to the Golden State bench before officials as well as coaches and players from both teams intervened. Meanwhile, Draymond Green and injured Dallas guard Tim Hardaway Jr. traded disagreements about 45 feet apart.
After the timeout, Curry could be seen saying, “What happened?” and approached Doncic to talk about it. The trade ended with Green as a peacemaker with Doncic.
HOLD YOUR LANGUAGE
Green was given a technical foul, his second of the series, after a lengthy conversation with official Marc Davis when he was called for a backcourt violation when he hurriedly attempted to step back over- above the halfway line to catch an unexpected long pass from Curry.
The crowd was screaming for a technique and finally got it, after much discussion on Twitter after Game 2 about whether the referees should have given him a second tech. Shortly after, Green was called for his first foul and didn’t like the call. But he took his complaint to his own bench instead of the refereeing team.
Warriors: Otto Porter Jr., who averaged 10.5 points on 82% shooting in the first two games, limped to the locker room in the first half and was ruled out with left foot pain . … The Warriors extended their NBA record with a 26th consecutive series in which they won at least one game on the road.
Mavericks: Bullock won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Award. He has been active in the LGBTQ+ community. His sister, a transgender woman, was killed in 2014. Bullock worked with several organizations in the Dallas area after signing as a free agent in the offseason and has long been active in similar pursuits in his Carolina Native North. … Dorian Finney-Smith got a technical early in the second half for an elbow to the back of Green after a free kick taken at Dallas.