The goal for the Dallas Mavericks was to steal one of the first two games on the road against the Warriors in their Western Conference finals matchup.
The Mavericks were routed in Game 1 but looked like a much different team in Game 2. The Mavericks got an 18-point first quarter from Luka Doncic, who ended the game with 42 points, and they also got 31 points from Jalen Brunson.
The Mavs led by as many as 19 points and had a 72-58 lead at the half, but the “others” stepped up for the Warriors.
Kevon Looney scored 11 of his career-high 21 points in the third and 12 rebounds, Jordan Poole added 12 of his 23 points in the fourth, and their star, Steph Curry, added 10 of his team-high 32 points in the fourth as the Warriors defeated the Mavs 126-117 at Chase Center.
The Warriors now lead the series 2-0 as the series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday night.
After the game, Kerr gave the credit to Looney, Curry, Moses Moody, Otto Porter, and Poole.
“Loon(Looney) was just brilliant, again,” Kerr said. “He’s had a fantastic playoff run. He’s incredibly underrated by everybody. You know, he switches onto guards, and he rebounds, he sets screens, and in a series like this, it’s so spread out, he’s able to score some buckets in the paint as well. I thought Loon was just brilliant.
“I thought a lot of guys came in and really played well. Obviously, Steph got going. Jordan Poole’s second half was fantastic. Otto played a great game, and Moses Moody came in and gave us huge minutes in that fourth quarter. Great team effort, but it was really all about getting things under control and getting more poised out there.”
Looney became the first Warriors center to score 20-plus points and grab 10-plus rebounds in a playoff game in over 40 years.
“Playing center for the Warriors, it’s a different type of job from other teams,” Looney said. “A lot of the scoring and stuff, we don’t really need us to do. It’s a lot of screen setting and a lot of playmaking and doing different things. For me, to have a game like that is cool. Something I’ll always remember. But it’s a lot of work to do still. I’ll definitely enjoy tonight. I’m going to remember that stat, so I can tell somebody else about it.”
Doncic, who came into Game 2 battling a shoulder injury and an illness, says Mavs have to move on.
“We were up 20 or 19, so it’s a tough situation,” Doncic said. “We can’t look back. What happened happened, so we’ve got to move on.”
In the second round, the Mavs were down 0-2 against the Suns and ultimately won in 7. According to Reggie Bullock, who added 21 points, the Mavs have to what they did against the Suns, and that’s sweeping the next two games in Dallas.
“We’ve been in this position before,” Bullock said. “We were just in it last series. Going back home, we’ve got some of the best fans in the world. They’re going to be there to support us. They’re going to give us a lot of energy. We have to go out there with a great mindset to pull away two at home and be back here in San Fran to be able to compete for Game 5.”
We’ll see if the Mavs can pull off another remarkable comeback in this series. It’s possible, but the Warriors seem like a different animal. This series is not over, and it should be interesting to see what Dallas offers in Games 3 and 4.