Saturday, December 03, 2022

Doncic and Mavs avoid sweep; beat Warriors

DALLAS ( Associated Press) — Luka Doncic and the Mavericks got a bit drenched in rain midway through the game. And in the end, they had to sweat, during some tense moments.

But they survived in the Western Conference finals.

Doncic had 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Dallas beat Golden State 119-109 on Tuesday to close to 3-1 in the series, whose fourth game was cut short 16 minutes because of leaks in the arena roof.

The Warriors managed to cut a 29-point deficit to single digits late in the game.

“We just had to finish the game, but a win is a win,” said Doncic, who recorded his 10th double-double in 14 games this postseason.

The Slovenian also contributed nine assists and received help from the rest of the cast to prolong this series.

Doncic scored 40 points in Game 3, when Reggie Bullock missed all 10 of his shots, including seven 3-pointers.

Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points and Bullock added 18, shooting 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Jalen Brunson scored 15 points.

“Everyone in this locker room felt like there were more games to play,” Finney-Smith said. “We just wanted the win no matter what… We felt like we were kind of desperate in that first half.”

The Mavs made 20 of 43 3-pointers.

The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak the Warriors had in games in the Western finals. However, they are still in control of this series, which returns to California for Game 5 on Thursday night.

“It was almost a victory that they achieved with the ego. They came out with nothing to lose, so that confidence started early,” Stephen Curry said. “And we didn’t really do anything to stop this. That’s when the avalanche started. I take my hat off to them.”

Curry scored 20 points and returned to the game with 3:22 remaining after missing the rest of the fourth quarter. By then, the Warriors had closed to 110-102.

They couldn’t tighten the game any more, not even with the return of Curry and other starters.

“I just made the decision to see if the miracle could happen, and it didn’t,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Dallas was great tonight and deserved to win. It’s the conference finals, that’s the way it should be.”

During torrential rain outside the American Airlines Center, water began to seep from at least two leaks. One was above the Golden State dugout and one was at the end of the court where the Dallas bench was.

However, water would also have fallen on the stands.

The two teams had already warmed up for the third quarter, before the leaks were noticed. Workers climbed onto the roof structure to cover areas where water was leaking, and also appeared to use a tarp to catch any water that continued to leak.

Five minutes were eventually added to the intermission break to allow the players to warm up again. Finally, the game was resumed, with the score 62-47 in favor of the Mavericks.

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