Golden State defense muzzles Luka Doncic and the Mavs


Behind an active and suffocating defense, the Warriors limited Dallas to 36 points in the second half to establish their rhythm and break the Texas lock. All five Golden State starters finished 10 or more points and Jordan Poole added 19 points off the bench. The Mavs took 56% of their 3-point shots (48 attempts) but finished at 23%. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson were 12 of 34 on shots.

It was the Dubs who got off to the best start with an aggressive Andrew Wiggins winning his duel with Luka Doncic in the first quarter (10-8).

The Mavs are looking to attack Kevon Looney, Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole, but the Warriors alternate between individual and zone. Dallas can’t find its rhythm, misses 16 of its 19 award-winning shots, and even if their defense on Curry limits the double MVP, Golden State still takes a ten-point lead (28-18).

With Luka Doncic on the bench and despite two fouls for Maxi Kleber, the Mavs are nibbling behind. Their defense provoked forced shots, notably from a frustrated and clumsy Klay Thompson, and it allowed Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson to lead 7-0 (35-33). Despite Draymond Green’s third foul, the Warriors regain their application. They use Dallas’ defensive pressure to attack intervals and force rotations that allow Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins to score from afar to complete a 14-4 and return to the locker room at +9 (54-45).

While Doncic and the Mavs had managed to control the tempo of the second quarter, the Warriors started the second half with a bang. Their defense and pace allow Stephen Curry to create two open shots on points to finish a 10-2 that puts Dallas on the ropes (64-47)! Jalen Brunson momentarily stops the bleeding but it’s going way too fast for the Texans. The Warriors’ relentless movement puts the « Splash Brothers » into orbit. They score 20 of their team’s 34 points in this third quarter to blow up the Chase Center (88-69).

Jordan Poole then takes over to increase the gap to +30 and allow Golden State to easily take the first round of this series.


– The offensive equation sought by Dallas. The first quarter of this series was symbolic of Jason Kidd and the Mavs’ game plan. They took 19 of their 26 3-point shots, while limiting Golden State to 8 long shots attempted by pressing them high to force them to attack the circle. Dallas turns his series into a simple math problem. If they take significantly more 3-pointers than their opponents, they don’t need to make 40% of those shots. Their shooting volume alone can allow them to have a decisive advantage in every game. Despite 31% shooting and 24% 3-point success in the first half, this strategy allowed them to stay in ambush. And it was with this game plan that they beat Utah and Phoenix.

– The Warriors dictate the tempo. Before the meeting, Jason Kidd pointed to the battle of tempo as being the key. “We don’t want this series to turn into a sprint. We want to play at our own pace. And each team will fight to dictate the tempo. » With the exception of the second quarter, it was the Warriors’ speed that took over. Steve Kerr’s men pushed the ball in transition as soon as possible and were helped in this area by the clumsiness of the Mavs. Besides this aspect, Golden State was also able to impose its style of play on the half-court. A style made of constant movements, very different from that of the Suns, which allowed the trio Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole to shine. Dallas will therefore have to adjust.

– A varied defense on Luka Doncic. During the first six minutes of the match, the Warriors had alternated between individual defense, 3-2 zone, and limping to slow down Luka Doncic. While Andrew Wiggins was his main defender, Golden State also used multiple pick & roll tactics to keep the Slovenian from getting comfortable. As shown by his 6 of 18 on shots and his 7 lost balls, this strategy worked. The Warriors also attacked Luka Doncic on the other side with an aggressive Wiggins. The Mavs star, however, will be up for the challenge in Game 2.


✅Andrew Wiggins. The Warriors winger held Luka Doncic to 20 points, while scoring 19 units. As in Game 6 against the Grizzlies, he continued to be aggressive and it worked for him.

✅Stephen Curry. The two-time MVP struggled to get going against the Mavs’ aggressive defense, before surging to score 17 of his 21 points in the second and third quarters. He also finished top rebounder on his team with 12 catches!

✅Jordan Poole. The Warriors’ sixth man played his part wonderfully. He scored 19 points off the bench, outpacing the opposing defense. He has more trouble on defense, and the Mavs will probably attack him more and more.

✅Spencer Dinwiddie. The other sixth man in this series was the only successful Mav, with 17 points on 5 of 11 on shots.

✅ ⛔ Clay Thompson. Mute and frustrated in the first half, he set the sights in the third quarter to score 11 of his 15 points.

Luka Doncic. With 6 out of 18 on shots and 7 lost balls, the Slovenian had a complicated evening against the Warriors defense and in his wake his whole team suffered.

Jalen Brunson-Reggie Bullock-Dorian Finney-Smith. The trio converted just 8 of their 34 attempts. Finney-Smith was particularly discreet in attack after having shone against the Suns.


Game 2 in the night from Friday to Saturday in San Francisco

Warriors / 112ShotsBounces
PlayersMinimumShots3 pointsLFODTpdpartyIntbpCT+/-PointsRating
A. Wiggins358/173/80/214533121+281916
K. Looney285/50/00/023542012+151020
O. Porter Jr.235/70/10/006612100+161016
J. Toscano-Anderson50/00/00/010101020-30-1
J. Poole268/121/42/211235110+151920
Mr Moody51/11/10/000000000-333
Mavericks / 87ShotsBounces
PlayersMinimumShots3 pointsLFODTpdpartyIntbpCT+/-PointsRating
D. Finney-Smith342/61/30/052704020-2256
R. Bullock364/123/101/103324100-271210
D. Powell141/20/01/221301100-835
J Brunson326/160/52/413441110-111410
L. Doncic356/183/105/807741170-302010
Mr Kleber191/41/40/012303000-833
D. Bertans130/40/40/001101200-50-1
Mr Chriss50/00/00/001101000+301
S. Dinwiddie245/113/74/501120010-211712
F. Ntilikina100/20/20/001101000-60-1
J. Green81/30/10/001100000+421


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