Luka Donsick dominated most of the night, shouting in celebration and lowering his arm at Stephen Curry’s house.
Curry and Golden State Warriors then delivered one of those signature third-quarter flurries that defined their many post-season runs – inspired by Kevin Looney.
Just like that, the Warriors have two wins since returning to another NBA final.
“Knight Knight,” Curry announced as the three-pointer went through the net at the moment of decay.
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Curry scored 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight more rebounds, a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 on Saturday for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
“I’m just honored to be a part of the ride,” Looney said.
Donsick scored 42 points and the Mavericks took the lead most of the time before Golden State Auto Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer took its first lead in fourth place in 18 seconds. Curry could see a change of pace at that moment.
“We have the attitude and the spirit that we are never out of it,” Curry said.
Donsick had 18 points in the first quarter, two shy of his 20-point game 1 total. His three-pointer – 15th in the first half – 13 seconds before halftime made it 72-58 at the break and gave him 24 points.
Donsick even received a Twitter tweet from Oakland’s own MC Hammer: “Okay young Luka… we can see you.”
But Golden State pulled the 25-13 third quarter to 85-83 and answered in the fourth – coming out of halftime with performances reminiscent of those thrilling third quarters of the past. The Warriors were 19 runs behind at one stage.
“We know how good they are as a third-quarter team,” said Dallas forward Reggie Bullock. “It’s something that moves away from us when the game goes on.”
Donsick took 12 shots for 23 runs and was brilliant in a game of great shotmaking – the Warriors finished 56.1 percent off the floor. In the first half alone, Dallas led Golden State from 52.3 percent to 51.2 percent, with a significant 55.6 percent to 53.3 percent from the three-point range.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “You’re trying to limit simple things against someone good.”
Looney then had 11 points in a 5-for-6 shooting in the third game, and after halftime Golden State beat Dallas 68-45.
“It’s the Warriors. They’re a great team. They’re a championship team. We have to adjust our defense,” Donsick said. “… We were 19, so it’s a difficult situation. But we can’t look back. What happened, happened. So we have to move on.”
The series will move to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday. Golden State has two wins since returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since five consecutive trips from 2015-19.
Maves coach Jason Kidd said: “We are on the road against one of the best teams in the league. It happened. They served.” “We saw it in Phoenix so now we have to go back and focus only on Game 3.”
Jordan Pool scored 23 points from the bench, Andrew Wiggins was 16 and Clay Thompson – who was scoreless in the first half of the series – added 15 points in the second consecutive game. Golden State has 62 points in the paint.
Jalen Brunson scored eight of the first 14 Dallas points on the way to 31. The Mavericks didn’t have to look like Dremond Green, who picked up his fifth foul with 6:01 left in the third, then came back with 6: 33 left before the foul to go 2:25.
The teams rallied at 8:03 left in the second quarter in front of the Dallas bench. Warriors reserve Damien Lee shuts down when Davis hits a 3-pointer from Bartons’ corner and Bartons kicks Leake and sends him a hard flip to the floor. Leakey was stopped by official Eric Lewis.
The players were issued double technical.
Two days earlier in Game 1, Donsick faced a formidable defense from Wiggins and shot 3 of 6 and 10 for 18 from deep. Kid expected a better outing in Game 2.
Golden State continued to push the pace and made 16 turnovers after 15 in the opener. At halftime, Kerr told his team to settle down.
“I told them the game would come to us if we made some gestures in the second half,” he said. “But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Probably more emotionally than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us.”
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