Cavs fall to shorthanded Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the shorthanded Golden State Warriors on Friday night. The Warriors, who lost to the Celtics on Thursday night in OT, were without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins due to rest. 

However, none of that mattered.

After trailing by double-digits for most of the second half, the Cavs, who were down by as many as 20 points, cut the Warriors’ lead to four with two minutes left in the fourth, but Ty Jerome hit a three on the next possession, and the Warriors defeated the Cavs 120-114 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cleveland(28-19), who was without Donovan Mitchell(groin) for the second straight game, have lost two straight and three out of their last four.

Here’s The Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors.

Darius Garland led the way for Cleveland with 31 points, nine assists, and two steals. Eighteen of Garland’s 31 points came in the first half. He didn’t shoot it that great(10/25 FG, 3/11 3-PT FG), but he did his part.

Defense: Cleveland gave up 120 points to Ty Jerome, Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, and others. Golden State lit them up from downtown. The Warriors made 23 threes and shot 54% from deep. Poole(5) and Jerome(3) made a combined eight threes. WOW!!

Rebounding: The Warriors outrebounded the Cavs 45-35. That’s unacceptable. That means you let Golden State outwork you!!

Third Quarter: Golden State shot 58% from the field, including 60% from deep in the third. The Warriors had their largest lead of 20 points in the quarter. Again, they just wanted it more!!

Even without Mitchell, this loss is super unacceptable. The Warriors sat pretty much their whole starting lineup. In many ways, the Warriors were willing to give this game up, but crazy things happen in the NBA.

This was the Cavs’ worst performance of the season! Again, Unacceptable!!

What’s Next:

Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Poole led the Warriors with a game-high 32 points; Jerome had 22 points, DiVincenzo added 17 points, and Kevon Looney chipped in with four points and 17 rebounds. 

Golden State had six players in double figures.

-For the Cavs, Caris LeVert had 22 points, including five threes. Evan Mobley added 17 points and eight rebounds.

-Ricky Rubio(injury management) did not play Friday night.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-4) concluded their five-game road trip in San Francisco against the Warriors(5-7), and behind the heroics of Steph Curry, who had 15 of his 40 points(6/11 3-PT FG) in the fourth, the Cavs fell to Golden State 106-101 at Chase Center.

Cleveland has now lost three straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors

Great:

Donovan Mitchell almost had a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds,  nine assists, and two steals. Mitchell did his part, but it wasn’t enough.

Evan Mobley had a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. This is his second double-double of the season. The Cavs used their size effectively against the Warriors, but again, it wasn’t enough.

Points in the Paint: Cleveland had a lot of success in the paint as they scored 54 points. 

Not So Great:

Darius Garland: He was off again Friday night. He finished with 15 points and eight assists, but he was 5/19 from the field. Garland is 6/28 from the floor in the last two games, including 2/9 from deep.

Fourth Quarter Defense: Curry is Curry, and for most of the game, the Cavs defended well, but not in the fourth. Cleveland allowed 32 points in the fourth and allowed the Warriors to shoot 63% from the floor. 

The final 4:38 of the game: After a Caris LeVert four-point play, which was ruled a flagrant foul, Cleveland had a six-point possession after a Jarrett Allen dunk, which put them up 95-87. However, just like they did against the Clippers, they couldn’t close. They were outscored 19-6 the rest of the way as Curry scored 13 of his 15 fourth-quarter points in the final 4:38 of the game.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs could not close the show in the final three games of this road trip. Cleveland had a 13-point lead late against the Clippers with five minutes left, couldn’t close against the Kings, and lost another lead late against Golden State. Cleveland could have easily gone 5-0 on this trip; instead, they went 2-3. It’s early, but this trip was a disappointment for sure. 

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

All five of Cleveland’s starters scored in double figures Friday night. Jarrett Allen had 13 points and nine rebounds, and LeVert added 11.

Andrew Wiggins had 20 points; Draymond Green had two points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds, and Jordan Poole added 18 points.

Curry on fourth NBA title: ‘This one hits different for sure’

The Warriors made it four NBA titles in eight seasons as they defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden Thursday night.

Golden State won the series 4-2; Steph Curry, who had a game-high 34 points, including five threes in Game 6, was named Finals MVP for the first time in his career.

After trailing 14-2 with just over eight minutes left in the first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Celtics 52-25 the rest of the half, including a 21-0 run. The Warriors led by as many as 21 points in the first half and had a 54-39 lead at halftime.

Boston got the lead to as low as eight late in the fourth but could not get any closer.

Curry, who won his fourth NBA title, averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 5.2 3-pt FG per game in this series, and according to StatMuse, he is the first player in NBA history to average 30/5/5 and five threes in a Finals series.

“We’ve got four championships,” Curry said after the win. “This one hits different for sure, just knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like from injuries to changing of the guard in the rosters, Wiggs(Andrew Wiggins) coming through, our young guys carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn’t make sense to anybody when we said it, all that stuff matters. And now we got four championships. Me, Dray(Draymond Green), Klay(Thompson), and Andre(Iguodala), we finally got that bad boy. It’s special. It’s special.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says the four championships don’t happen without Curry.

“I’m obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens,’ Kerr said. “Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy(Tim Duncan) in San Antonio. So I’m happy for everybody, but I’m thrilled for Steph. To me, this is his crowning achievement in what’s already been an incredible career.”

The Warriors missed the playoffs the last two seasons, so getting back to this spot was difficult for Curry and the rest of the team. After the win, Curry was in tears, and he explained why he was so emotional.

“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, this last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional roller coaster on and off the floor,” he said. “And you’re carrying all of that on a daily basis to try to realize a dream and a goal like we did tonight. And you get goosebumps just thinking about, you know, all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively. And that’s why I said I think this championship hits different. That’s why I have so many emotions, and still will, just because of what it took to get back here.”

Klay Thompson, who also won his fourth NBA title, believes Curry is an all-time great.

“I’m so happy for him to get that Finals MVP,” Thompson said. “Some bozo saying he needed it. I think he’s pretty much established what he can do, but to see him earn that, he’s one of the greatest ever, and we all followed in his lead, and gosh, that was awesome. What a series.”

Draymond Green, who added his fourth NBA title as well and had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 6, added on Curry: “Steph Curry, to have the season and the career that he’s had, it is amazing. And to stamp that with a Finals MVP — I know he said it don’t matter, and it doesn’t matter in the sense of like, oh, his legacy is not quite this unless he gets that. Like, that’s garbage. Still, Steph Curry still an all-time great. But to add that to your résumé as a competitor, you want that. For him, well-deserved.”

After winning Finals MVP, Curry’s legacy is complete. Before this series, Curry was an all-time great, but now there are no doubts.

Curry leads Warriors to win over Celtics in ‘The Foot Game’

In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, between the Bulls and Jazz, Michael Jordan, battling the flu, had a game for the ages. 

Jordan scored 38 points and the Bulls defeated the Jazz 90-88 to take a 3-2 series lead; Jordan would go on to win the fifth of his six NBA titles. 

The game would later be known as “The Flu Game”

Fast forward 25 years to Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Celtics at TD Garden Friday night. The Celtics had an opportunity to take complete control of the series, but Steph Curry, battling a foot injury he suffered in Game 3, had a game for the ages. Curry had 24 of his 43 points in the second half, including seven threes, 10 rebounds, and four assists as the Warriors defeated the Celtics 107-97 in “The Foot Game.”(our name for it)

The series is tied 2-2, and Game 5 is Monday night at Chase Center.

Boston led 94-92 with under five minutes left in the fourth, but the Warriors went on a 15-3 run to close it out, and Curry would score 10 of those 15 points 

According to StatMuse, Curry joins Jerry West and Magic Johnson as the only point guards to record a 40-point/10 rebounds Finals game.

In addition, according to ESPN Stats & Info, at age 34, he is the second-oldest player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-10 game behind only LeBron James(35), who did it in 2020.

Furthermore, the 24-second half points were the most for Curry in an NBA Finals game.

“Yeah, I think he was really laboring out there,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said playfully after the win. “He really struggled. No, never even looked like it was a factor, so…

“Just stunning. The physicality out there is, you know, pretty dramatic. I mean, Boston’s got obviously, best defense in the league. Huge and powerful at every position, and for Steph to take that — that kind of pressure all game long and still be able to defend at the other end when they are coming at him shows you, I think this is the strongest physically he’s ever been in his career, and it’s allowing him to do what he’s doing.”

Klay Thompson, who scored 18 points, was impressed by Curry’s heart.

“I think I have seen him show that much emotion, and the heart on that man is incredible,” Thompson said. “You know, the things he does we kind of take for granted from time to time but to go out there and put us on his back, I mean, we got to help him out on Monday. Wow, just showed why he is — shocking he wasn’t a First Team All-NBA guy, but whatever, next year.”

According to Thompson, this was Curry’s best performance in an NBA Finals Game.

“I think probably No. 1. I mean, this was nearly a must-win game, and to go out there and shoot as efficiently as he did, and grab 10 rebounds, and they were attacking him on defense,” he said. “I mean, his conditioning is second-to-none in this league. Steph played incredible.”

Draymond Green, who struggled again in Game 4 as he had two points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, says Curry showed why he’s an all-time great.

“Incredible,” Green said. “Put us on his back. Willed us to win. Much-needed win. Game we had to have. Came out and showed why he’s one of the best players to ever play this game, you know, and why, you know, this organization has been able to ride him to so much success. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Curry gave credit to the medical staff.

Great rehab, medical staff hooking me up the last two days, getting me right, he said. I think, for the most part, I didn’t think about it. Like I don’t know how to explain the pain. It’s more so just when you’re out there, you don’t compensate, or you don’t — it doesn’t take up too much mental space in terms of feeling like I can do whatever I want to out on the court. So hopefully, that continues with these next two days off, and get ready for Game 5.”

More importantly, the Warriors got home-court advantage back.

“It means everything knowing the sense of urgency we had to have tonight to win on the road and keep some life in the series, get home-court advantage back and try to create some momentum our way,” Curry said.

These teams have alternated wins in this series. Plus, Boston has not lost two games in a row in these playoffs, so expect them to come out with a big effort Monday night. 

Golden State will have big problems if Curry can’t go in Game 4

The Boston Celtics fed off their crowd and came out with a lot of energy in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. 

Jaylen Brown had 22 of his 27 points in the first half, nine rebounds, and five assists; Jayson Tatum added 26 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, and Marcus Smart chipped in with 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists as Boston defeated the Warriors 116-100 at TD Garden to take a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4 is Friday night in Boston.

The Celtics had their largest lead of 18 points in the first half and led 68-56 at halftime. However, in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 25-10 run to take their first lead since the first quarter as Steph Curry(15) and Klay Thompson(10) combined for 25 points in the quarter, but things fell apart for the Warriors in the fourth.

The Warriors were outscored 23-11 in the fourth as they shot 33% from the floor and 1/9 from downtown. The Celtics went on a 17-7 run to take a 14-point lead, taking complete control from there.

Curry, who had a game-high 31 points, including six threes, said the first quarter, where the Warriors trailed 33-22 after one, and the first few minutes of the fourth sunk the Warriors.

“That first two or three minutes kind of set the tone for the rest of the fourth and gave them a little bit of a cushion,” Curry said. “We had a hard time responding after that. So between the first three minutes of the fourth and the first 12 minutes of the game, that was pretty much it.”

Things went from bad to worse for the Warriors as Curry’s leg was rolled up on late in the fourth. Curry would remain in the game until he was removed along with the rest of the starters.

According to Curry, who missed 12 games in the regular season after injuring his foot against the Celtics in March, he should be fine.

“I’ll be all right,” he said. “I got caught — obviously in some pain, but I’ll be all right. See how it feels tomorrow and get ready for Friday…

“Same thing I did in Denver — or against Boston in the regular season, but I’ll be — not as bad.”

If the Warriors don’t have Curry, they won’t win this series. It’s that simple. Hopefully, for the Warriors, the NBA, and the fans, Curry will be ready to go in Game 4.

Notes:

Draymond Green, who was public enemy number one in Boston, was not very good Wednesday night as he had two points, four rebounds, and three assists in 35 minutes of action. Green would foul out in the fourth.

According to StatMuse, Green has as many fouls as points, more techs than threes, and more turnovers than baskets.

When asked how he played in Game 3, Green said: “Like sh**.”

Celtics’ Brown on Warriors: ‘I feel like they got away with a lot tonight’

After one half of basketball, the Golden State Warriors led the Boston Celtics 52-50 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. 

Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his team-high 28 points and kept the Celtics in the game. However, in the third quarter, the Warriors went off.

Golden State outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter. Steph Curry scored 14 of his game-high 29 points in the third as the Warriors routed the Celtics 107-88 at Chase Center to even the series up 1-1.

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Boston.

The Celtics went cold in the third as they shot 24% from the field, including 25% from downtown, and they had no answers for Curry and the rest of the Warriors in the third.

Golden State had five players in double figures, but Curry was the focal point of the offense, which Draymond Green discussed after the win.

“I think our offense is always a lot of Steph,” Green said. “It all starts with Steph, whether — you know, when KD was here, our offense still started with Steph. That’s the way it’s going to be. I think when you’re playing against a team like that, you have to get offense from other places and not just Steph. I think, for the most part, we did a pretty good job of that. You know, Klay, what, 4-for-19, had a tough one, but that happens. We know he’ll make shots as this series continues to go on.”

In Game 1 for Boston, it was about the others, including Derrick White, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart, who combined for 68 points. In Game 2, it was a different story as the trio totaled 16 points. 

Curry discussed what they did to shut down White, Horford, and Smart.

“We look back at Game 1, and there were — between Marcus, Al Horford, and Derrick White, there for four or five shots they got in the first half that were just uncontested,” Curry. “So for us to come out in the first quarter with the level of intensity and focus, obviously Jaylen(Brown) and Jayson(Tatum), what they do in the ball in their hand, it’s a tough cover. It’s more obvious what you need to do on those guys. But then certain possessions, we took — kept a body on Al. Tried to force Marcus into a crowd. I think that carried over to the rest of the game. So we have to continue to try to do that because they are liable to get hot at any moment.”

Game 2 got a little physical as  Green got into it separate incidents with Grant Williams(first quarter)and Jaylen Brown, which led to a technical foul; however, some believe he should have gotten called for a second tech for his altercation with Brown, where Green had his legs on Brown, which led to some pushing and shoving between the two, but Green avoided the tech and the ejection. 

According to Green, he has to be himself.

For me to sit back and say, oh, I’m going to push it to this edge and try to pull back, that don’t work,” he said. “I got to be me. So with the first tech, it is what it is. That’s not going to stop me from being aggressive or doing what I do on the basketball court. Just got to live with the results.”

Brown expects Green to be physical, and he feels Boston has to raise their intensity level in this series.

“He’s going to try to muck the game up, try to raise the level of intensity,” Brown said about Green, “We’ve got to raise ours. I feel like they got away with a lot tonight, but we’ve got to come ready to play, come ready to meet that physicality on both ends.”

It appears we’re going to have a long series. Basketball is a game of runs. In Game 1, Boston exploded in the fourth, and in Game 2, Golden State exploded in the third. 

Let’s see what Game 3 has in store for us in Boston.

Celtics’ Brown: ‘We’re battle-tested’

For three quarters, the Boston Celtics struggled to find their way in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors. The Celtics trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half and trailed 92-80, heading into the fourth.

However, the Celtics exploded in the fourth. Al Horford scored 11 of his 26 points in the quarter; Jaylen Brown poured in 10 of his 24 points, and Derrick White added 13 of 21 points in the second half as Boston outscored Golden State 40-16 in the final stanza to defeat the Warriors 120-108 at Chase Center.

Game 2 is Sunday night in San Francisco.

In the fourth, Boston tightened the screws on defense and got hot at the right time as they shot 68% from the floor, including 9/12(75%) from deep.

Marcus Smart, who had 18 points, said the team stuck to their game plan and started to make shots.

“It hasn’t been our first time being down in that position, nor in this game, let alone all season,” Smart said after the win. “We came in with a game plan. For us, it was just to stick with it, believe in ourselves. Kept doing that. As you see, everybody starts to catch fire, get hot, things start to go our way.

Boston has been involved in two Game 7s, including winning on the road against the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, and according to Brown, this team is battle-tested.

“We’re battle-tested,” Brown said. “We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through a lot of experiences, a lot of losses. We know what it takes to win. I give credit to every guy in that locker room from top to bottom. We got a great, resilient group.”

It took Horford 15 years and 141 playoff games to get to the NBA Finals, and in Game 1, with the game tied at 103 late in the fourth, Horford scored eight straight points.

“I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time,” Horford said. “Also, Derrick White hit some tough shots there, too. Yeah, it was just get the looks, knock ’em down, that’s that.”

Steph Curry scored 21 of his game-high 34 points in the first quarter. Curry made six threes(the most ever in a Finals quarter) in the first quarter. Despite the loss, Draymond Green is not concerned.

“We’ll figure out the ways we can stop them from getting those threes and take them away,” Green said. “But no, I don’t think it was a rhythm thing. We pretty much dominated the game for the first 41, 42 minutes. So we’ll be fine.”

Boston stole this game and should be happy that they found a way to get this victory, especially when you consider their best player, Jayson Tatum, had only 12 points on 3/17 from the field, but he did impact the game in other ways, as he had a game and career-high 13 assists and five rebounds.

Great win for the Celtics, and man, they look the part, but there is still a lot of series left.

Curry, Thompson, Green are back in NBA Finals

After three years away, the Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals after defeating the Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

Golden State won the series 4-1.

The NBA Finals begin next Thursday at Chase Center.

The Warriors last made the Finals in 2019 when they lost to the Toronto Raptors, and that was with Kevin Durant leading the way. 

Durant is off in Brooklyn, who got swept in their opening round series by the Celtics, while Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are on their way to the Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.

After Durant left, things went south for the Warriors as they missed the playoffs the past two seasons. It’s been rough for the Warriors, but now they are back.

“The fact me, Klay, Draymond, from 2015 to now, six out of eight years having a chance to compete for a championship,” Curry, who had 15 points and nine assists and won the Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP, said after the win. “The feeling leaving 2019 Finals and realizing, like, we had been on an amazing journey, then got hit with a lot of adversity, some speed bumps, but never lost the faith we could get back here.”

Green, who had 17 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, added: “After being counted out, dynasty is over, all of those things. To get back here it’s fantastic. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication and to an incredible organization. We continue to stick with it, show what we’re capable of. This one feels great. But got four more wins to get.”

Thompson missed the past two years after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals and tearing his Achilles in 2020, and he was big-time in Game 5 as he had a game-high 32 points, including eight threes. After the game, Thompson was emotional, and he explained why.

“Just such a surreal feeling,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to put into words, really. This time last year, I was just starting to jog again and get up and down the court. Now to be feeling like myself, feeling explosive, feeling sure in my movements, I’m just grateful. All those emotions kind of rushed through me, and I thought about our training staff, I thought about Rick Celebrini, I thought about Steve, I thought about those days me and Rick were together in Santa Cruz, and I was in a terrible mood.

“We were together in the summertime. All those long days. They would tell me it would pay off. It was hard to see that at the time. Now to actually be here, I can feel it paying off.”

Golden State is back, and they are playing at a high level. Plus, they will have homecourt advantage in the Finals. In addition, the Warriors could get back Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II.

However, they have to still win four more games. Based on the way they’re playing right now, the Warriors will be the favorites and will be tough to beat.

Mavs’ Kidd: ‘We know going into Golden State it’s a tough place to win, but we’ve won there before’

The Dallas Mavericks kept their season alive after defeating the Golden State Warriors at home 119-109 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Golden State still leads the series 3-1, and Game 5 is Thursday at Chase Center.

Dallas had their largest lead of 29 points in the third. However, the Warriors would cut the lead to eight in the fourth, but the Mavs were able to hold them off.

It was a team effort as the Mavs, who had six players in double figures and had 30 assists, were led by Luka Doncic’s 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks, and two steals, and Dorian Finney-Smith added 23 points.

They still have to win three more games to win this series, but Doncic still has hope.

“I still believe we can win, you know. Swept or not swept,” Doncic said. “In the end, if you lose, you lose. Don’t matter how many we win. We have to go game by game. We going to believe until the end…

“We got more to do, you know. This is nothing. We got three more. We have to go game by game and believe.”

Finney-Smith felt the Mavs played like a desperate team in Game 4.

“Everybody in that locker room feel like we have more basketball to play,” he said. “We just wanted to get the win by any means necessary, and I feel like we came out desperate that first half.”

It’s a make-or-miss league, and the Mavs made shots Tuesday night as they hit 20 threes for the fourth time this postseason and shot 50% from the floor. 

“Yeah, we’ve felt all along we’re getting great looks,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “Sometimes they go in; sometimes they don’t in this series so far. It’s a matter about making shots.”

No team has ever come back after being down 3-0, but the message from Kidd is to take it one game at a time.

“We believe it’s just one game at a time,” Kidd said. “We did our part tonight. We found a way to win. The next part is to find a way to win on the road. Again, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s still 3-1. We know going into Golden State it’s a tough place to win, but we’ve won there before.”

The odds are still against the Mavs, but anything can happen.

Notes:

-The Warriors, who had seven players in the double figures, were led by Stephen Curry’s 20 points, marking his 100th 20-point game in the postseason. He became the 16th player to record 100-or-more 20-point games in the playoffs.

Reggie Bullock had 18 points on 6-10 shooting from deep. Bullock tied his career-best of 6 3-pointers, when he had a playoff career-best 21 points (Game 2 at GSW).

Jalen Brunson recorded 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists tonight. This was Brunson’s fourth game with 15-5-5 in the postseason, with all of the instances coming this year.

Maxi Kleber went 5-6 off the bench for 13 points, while Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 points and a playoff career-best-tying 8 assists off the bench.

-The game was delayed 16 minutes before the third quarter as water came through the roof at American Airlines Center.

Doncic: ‘I think the Warriors are playing incredible’

The Golden State Warriors are one game away from the NBA Finals after defeating the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 in Game 3 Sunday night at American Airlines Center.

The Warriors lead the series 3-0, and Game 4 is Tuesday night in Dallas.

No team in NBA history has won a series down 3-0.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 31 points (5-10 3FG), five rebounds, and 11 assists, and Andrew Wiggins had a career playoff-high 27 points and a career playoff-high-tying 11 rebounds.

Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with a game-high 40 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. 

Doncic did his job Sunday night, but things fell apart in the third as the Warriors outscored the Mavs by nine in the quarter and had their largest lead of 14. 

According to Doncic, the Warriors have excellent continuity, which has made things difficult for the Mavs.

 “I think the Warriors are playing incredible,” Doncic said. “Everybody knows their role. Everybody just stays together. They’re a long-built team. They’ve been together for a long time, and I think they’re playing good basketball, so that’s what I think is going to be really difficult, and these past three games, it’s been very difficult.”

The Warriors killed the Mavs on the glass. Golden State outrebounded Dallas 47-34 and had 18 second-chance points. Kevon Looney had a game-high 12 rebounds. Doncic gave Looney a lot of credit, but he feels the Mavs have to do a better job on the boards going forward.

 “I think, like I say, the rebounding. We’ve got to be way better. We’ve got to be more physical. It’s really tough with Looney; he’s an unbelievable player. He’s very underrated. Nobody talks about him. But I think he’s been doing an amazing job, and it’s tough with him. He’s a strong dude, and he helps them a lot. He’s a great role player, and we’ve got to do a better job boxing him out.”

Mavs coach Jason Kidd added: “Yeah, we just have to be physical and make contact to keep them from crashing. A lot of times, they hit us too late, and so when you’re playing small, we have to just — we’ve got to hit; first, we can’t hit second.”

This series is probably over. However, the sentiment from the Mavs is they have to take it one game at a time. 

 “One game at a time,” Spencer Dinwiddie, who has 26 points off the bench, said. “I mean, that’s really it.”

Jalen Brunson, who had 20 points, added: “One game at a time, plain and simple. That’s all we have, one game at a time.”

No matter what happens the rest of the way, the 2021-22 NBA season is a success for the Dallas Mavericks, but it would be nice to get one game in this series, and we’ll see if they can get that one in Game 4.