DALLAS - With a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, the Dallas Mavericks face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night. Expect the Chase Center in San Francisco to be rocking, as the Mavs attempt to upset the "Splash Triplets" in the best-of-seven series.
Dallas' defense will have its hands full with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and the surging Jordan Poole, who are averaging 66.6 points per game in the playoffs. On the other side, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and co. will be eager to target Mavs star Luka Doncic.
The Slovenian star shows up when it matters most. In 10 playoff games this season, Doncic is averaging 31.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. Doncic, who excels at controlling the pace to be slow and methodical, is preparing for the Warriors' defensive coverages.
"For me, maybe I'll see a couple more double teams this series, but that's fine," Doncic said. "I think we play the best when they double team me. You know, 4-on-3 basketball in the NBA. We have a lot of great players. ... We're ready for everything."
LUKA MAGIC: Doncic (32.5 ppg) owns the second-highest career scoring average in playoff history, just behind Michael Jordan (33.4 ppg).
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (0-0) at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (0-0)
WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. CT
LOCATION: Chase Center (San Francisco, CA)
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TV/RADIO: TNT, BSSW, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)
DALLAS INJURY REPORT: Tim Hardaway Jr. (left foot surgery) is out.
ODDS: The Mavs are currently 5-point underdogs to the Warriors.
NEXT: Game 2 will also be in San Francisco on Friday at 8 p.m. before the series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday at 8 p.m. and Game 4 on May 24 at 8 p.m.
If necessary, Game 5 will be May 26 in San Francisco at 8 p.m., Game 6 in Dallas on May 28 at 8 p.m. and Game 7 in San Francisco on May 30 at 7 p.m.
LAST WORD: Jalen Brunson on teammate Doncic and the Warriors:
“He always tries to throw the first punches. He always has that killer instinct.”
“I think the Warriors are one of the best teams at not making it about themselves. They don’t really care who gets the credit. That’s what’s made them special for almost the past decade. It’s going to be tough. I’m excited for the challenge. We’ll be ready.”