The Golden State Warriors are one win away from the NBA Finals after beating the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 in Game Three on Sunday night. Led by a 31-point performance from Stephen Curry, and 27 points by Andrew Wiggins, Golden State once again confirmed its dominance over Dallas to top the 3-0 series.
Luka Doncic tried to get the Mavericks to win with 40 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, but then again, despite the 46 points total from Jalen Bronson and Spencer Dinwiddy, Dallas didn’t have enough in the tank to finish the win in favor of getting back in the series.
The Warriors will try to finish the series on Tuesday, and if they do they will wait for the winner of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat series at the Eastern Conference.
Here are three takeaways from Game 3 in Dallas.
1. Andrew Wiggins, Bow down
Let’s just take a look at this ridiculous dunk that Wiggins did on Doncic in the fourth quarter.
This is Dunk of the Year material here. In fact, that’s better than any of the dunks we saw during the Dunk contest at All-Star Weekend earlier this season. It’s a dipping game that was a cherry on top of what was another stellar performance for Wiggins, who finished off a 27-point breakout to go along with 11 boards and three assists while shooting 55 percent of the field.
Wiggins has been fantastic to Golden State throughout the streak, averaging over 20 points while also drawing the toughest defensive task in guarding Doncic on the other end of the ground. While Doncic is still getting his points, Wiggins has been pretty tough on the Slovenian star, and somehow still found enough energy to finish dunks like this in the fourth quarter despite playing most minutes of any Warriors player.
Wiggins has gone between being the second-best player on this team at times, to being the perfect player Golden State needs to be when Curry and Klay Thompson get into trouble. His consistent production on both ends of the floor, which also included six offensive rebounds, is part of the reason Dallas spends such a miserable time trying to protect this Warriors team.
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2. Dallas Players Not Attending Critical Game 3
When the Mavericks fell 0-2 in the conference semifinals against the Phoenix Suns, they responded with four of five Novices and scored in double figures to claim the win in Game Three. Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber combined for 43 points in that game to give Dallas – and Doncic – the boost he needed to get back into the series.
This was not the case on Sunday evening. While Doncic got plenty of help from his backcourt teammates Jalen Bronson and Spencer Dinwiddie, who amassed 46 points, Bullock went goalless 0-10 from the field in 39 minutes of excitement. Vinnie Smith only had nine points, while Kleber also finished with a zero point on 0-5 of the field. When these three guys shoot poorly, Dallas won’t win many games.
Although Dallas managed to keep him close to the last bell, unlike the previous two contests of the series, he didn’t feel he could have done a legitimate tour without guys like Bullock, Vinnie Smith and Clipper.
3. The Warriors win one distance from the NBA Finals
Golden State has been dominant throughout this entire series, and is now one win away from reaching its sixth NBA Finals in eight years. It’s crazy to think that had it not been for the injuries of both Thompson and Curry in the past two years, the Warriors might be on the verge of reaching their eighth consecutive NBA Finals, which is just how talented this team has been in the past eight years.
There is still work to be done, as Doncic and the rest of the Mavericks team will definitely be doing everything they can to try to extend this streak and avoid being overrun. But with the Warriors comfortably in the driver’s seat right now, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next opponent on the calendar.