DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks look to climb out of a 0-2 series hole as they host the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 on Sunday night at the friendly confines of the American Airlines Center. Dallas looks to continue its excellence at home; The Mavs have won five consecutive home playoff games after dropping Game 1 to Utah in the first round.
In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday, the Mavs lead by as many as 19 points in the first half but let it slip away, falling 126-117 to the Golden State Warriors.
Can the Mavs overcome bleak odds, again?
FINAL SCORE A nutshell play: With just outside of six minutes left in the game and Dallas laboring to catch up, Andrew Wiggins went skyward for a dunk that also featured a swipe at Luka Doncic’s face.
Final ruling: No call, big bucket, final score 109-100, 0-3 series deficit for Dallas.
Doncic finished with 40. But Wiggins (27) and Steph Curry (31) poured it on, and now the Mavs have a Tuesday night chance to win one here at the AAC.
TO THE 4TH: The Mavs trail 78-68 after three periods and frustration seems to be setting in here at the AAC.
Spencer Dinwiddie has 21 but he’s had far too little offensive help. Also telling: Dallas is almost lapped in rebounds, 40-23. Oh, and Steph's got 27.
HALFTIME: The Mavs trail 48-47 at the half - a moral victory considering the fact that Dallas - which led by as many as nine in the second - is shooting just 34 percent.
Steph Curry’s got 16 and Andrew Wiggins has 13. But Luka (15), Brunson and Dinwiddie have combined for 28 - not enough.
Dallas is 6 of 25 from 3. But another issue here: The bullying from Draymond Green, who is conflicting with Doncic as the refs look on … somehow powerless.
FIRST QUARTER: Teams that go up 2-0 in a best-of-seven series go on to win the series 92.2 percent of the time. However, Dallas overcame a 2-0 hole in its previous series against Phoenix and will attempt to do it for the second straight time against the Warriors.
And ... after one quarter here at the AAC? Dallas is down just 25-22 thanks to a loooong Luka buzzer-beating 3.
That gave Luka 10 points, and salvaged Dallas’ perimeter shooting, as before the late make, the Mavs were 2 of 13 from the arc.
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They do have the support of TNT’s Charles Barkley, who entered Victory Plaza on horseback.
No team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
LUKA MAGIC: Doncic's seven playoff games with 40 points ties Dirk Nowitzki for the most in Mavericks postseason history. It also is the second-most in history prior to turning 25 years old. Only LeBron James has more 40-point games prior to turning 25, with eight total games.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (0-2) at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (2-0)
WHEN: Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. CT
LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV/RADIO: TNT, BSSW, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)
INJURY REPORT: Tim Hardaway Jr. (left foot surgery) is out. Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins is questionable (ankle soreness).
ODDS: The Mavs are currently 3-point favorites over the Warriors.
NEXT: The series stays in Dallas for 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.
“We've just got to do a better job closing out and rebounding. That's it. We've got to be more physical, and we've got to close out better and rebound the ball.”