The Warriors have a 2-0 lead against the Mavericks

SAN FRANCISCO — Luka Doncic had dominated most of the night, screaming in celebration and bending his arms at Stephen Curry’s home.

Then Curry and the Golden State Warriors delivered one of those signature third-quarter excitements that have defined so many of their postseason runs — with this one sparked by Kevon Looney.

The Warriors are two wins away from returning to another NBA Finals.

“Night night,” Curry declared as a 3-pointer went through the net in the waning moments.

Curry had 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight more rebounds, Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 on Friday to go 2 in the Western Conference Finals: 0 in the lead .

“I’m honored to just be a part of the ride,” Looney said.

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry finished the race with a team high of 32 points.
Getty Images

Doncic scored 42 points and the Mavericks led most of the way before Golden State grabbed their first lead of the evening with Otto Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer after 18 seconds in the fourth. Curry could see a momentum shift at that moment.

“We have this attitude and this spirit that we never lose our composure,” said Curry.

Doncic had 18 points in the first quarter, two fewer than his 20 points total in Game 1. His 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining – the 15th of the first half for the Mavs – made it 72-58 at the break and delivered him 24 points.

Doncic even got a Twitter shout-out from Oakland’s own MC Hammer: “Ok young Luka… see you.”

But Golden State responded with a 25-13 in the third quarter to move to 85-83 in the fourth quarter — and came out of halftime with a performance reminiscent of those exciting third quarters of the past. The Warriors were at times trailing by 19.

“We know how good they are as a team in the third quarter,” said Dallas forward Reggie Bullock. “We just missed that throughout the game.”

Doncic shot 12 from 23 and shone in a brilliant shooting game – the Warriors finished 56.1 percent from the floor. In the first half alone, Dallas edged out Golden State by 52.3% to 51.2%, including a remarkable 55.6% to 53.3% from 3-point range.

“Against someone who’s that good, you’re just trying to limit the simple things,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Looney then had 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the third and Golden State beat Dallas 68-45 after halftime.

Kevon Looney takes a dive during the Warriors' Game 2 win against the Mavericks.
Kevon Looney takes a dive during the Warriors’ Game 2 win against the Mavericks.
Getty Images

“It’s the warriors. You have a great team. They are a championship team. We have to adapt our defense,” said Doncic. “…We were 19, so it’s a tough situation. But we can’t look back. What happened happened. So we have to keep going.”

The series will move to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday. Golden State is two wins from a return to the NBA Finals for the first time in five straight trips from 2015-19.

“We’re playing against one of the best teams in the league. It happens. They held the serve,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd. “We saw that in Phoenix so now we have to go back and just focus on Game 3.”

Jordan Poole scored 23 points off the bench, Andrew Wiggins had 16 and Klay Thompson – who was goalless in the first half of the series opener – added 15 points for a second straight game. Golden State scored 62 points in the livery.

Jalen Brunson scored eight of Dallas’ first 14 points en route to 31st place. Less likely to see the Mavericks was Draymond Green, who caught his fifth foul at 6:01 in the third, then returned with 6:0:33 left before fouling with 2:25 to go.

The teams tangled at 8:03 in the second quarter in front of the Dallas bench. Warriors reserve Damion Lee closed when Davis Bertans hit a 3-pointer out of the corner and Bertans tripped Lee and somersaulted him hard to the ground. Lee had to be restrained by official Eric Lewis.

Players were issued double technicals.

In Game 1 two days earlier, Doncic faced a suffocating defense from Wiggins, shooting just 6 for 18 and 3 for 10 from deep. Kidd expected a far better performance in Game 2.

Golden State continued to push the pace, committing 16 turnovers after 15 in the opener. At halftime, Kerr asked his team to calm down.

“I told them that if we developed some confidence in the second half, the game would come to us,” he said. “But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Maybe emotionally more than anything else. Dallas came out and just beat us.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/warriors-take-2-0-series-lead-over-mavericks/ The Warriors have a 2-0 lead against the Mavericks

JOE HERNANDEZ

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