25 May Luka Dončić, Mavs top Warriors, stave off sweep
LUKA Dončić missed a triple-double by one assist and the host Dallas Mavericks combined impressive 3-point-shooting and a strong defensive effort into a season-saving 48 minutes on Tuesday night, preventing a Golden State Warriors celebration with a 119-109 triumph in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Reggie Bullock connected on playoffs-career-high-tying six of the Mavericks’ 20 3-pointers. The Dallas defense limited the Golden State star tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to a combined 32 points, forcing the best-of-seven series back to San Francisco for a fifth game on Thursday, with the Warriors leading 3-1.
Seeking to rebound from three defeats that had come by a total of 43 points, the Mavericks dominated the second and third quarters, which were separated by an additional 20 minutes. A Dallas rainstorm found its way onto the court through a leaky roof in the American Airlines Center.
Having shot 11-for-23 on 3-point attempts in the first half while building a 62-47 advantage, the Mavericks responded better to the delay, getting two 3-pointers apiece from Dorian Finney-Smith and Dončić plus a fifth from Bullock in a 19-9 burst that opened a 25-point advantage.
Dallas went on to lead by as many as 29, then survived a late flurry by an all-reserves Warriors lineup to win for the first time since a 123-90 shocker against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of the Western semifinals.
Dončić finished with game highs in points (30), rebounds (14) and assists (nine) while also contributing three 3-pointers to the Dallas total. Finney-Smith added four treys to account for a majority of his 23 points.
Bullock turned his six 3-pointers into 18 points, while Jalen Brunson had 15 points, Maxi Kleber 13 and Spencer Dinwiddie 10 for the Mavericks, who shot a series-best 50% from the field.
Curry led seven Warriors in double figures with 20 points to go with a team-high eight assists, but he shot just 7-for-16 overall and 2-for-5 from 3-point range.
Jonathan Kuminga led Golden State’s late charge with 17 points, while fellow reserves Jordan Poole had 14 and Moses Moody 10.
Starters Andrew Wiggins (13), Thompson (12) and Draymond Green (10) also scored in double figures for Golden State. The Warriors fell in their first opportunity to clinch in each of the previous two playoff rounds before prevailing one game later. — Reuters