Things looked bleak for the Golden State Warriors at halftime of Game 2 of the 2022 Western Conference Finals. The Dallas Mavericks’ offense was buzzing on all cylinders, connecting on three after three en route to leading by as many as 19 points, while the Warrior offense kept turning the ball over and repeatedly looked frazzled.
And then, the tables turned and everything went right for the home team. Thanks to a high-scoring second half and a third quarter to forget for Dallas’ offense, the Warriors were able to pick up a 126-117 win at the Chase Center to extend their series lead to 2-0 before the series heads to Texas.
The first quarter was defined by runs and monster performances from each team’s biggest star. Dallas raced out to a 10-2 lead before Golden State ripped off six in a row.
Then, the Maverick offense got into a rhythm. Dallas scored 16 consecutive points to open up quite the cushion and take the opposing fans right out of the game … until Golden State responded by scoring 13 in a row. Ultimately, the Mavericks led 32-25 after one, with Doncic going for 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Curry had 11 points, four rebounds, and two steals.
Doncic and Curry sat on the bench to start the second quarter, and in that time, Doncic’s teammates put their collective foot on the gas. Dallas scored nine interrupted points at one point early on in the frame to extend its lead to 19.
The 1-2 punch of Doncic and Jalen Brunson, mixed with a stellar shooting half by the Mavericks, gave them a 72-58 lead heading into the locker room for halftime. Dallas got scorching hot from deep, as the team shot 15-for-27 from behind the three-point line. Even when Golden State had a chance towards the end of the half to go on a run and potentially cut the deficit to single digits — they went on a 10-2 run to get the lead down to 11 — Doncic hit a ridiculous three from way downtown to beat the shot clock to give his team a chance to catch their collective breath.
If not for a big half from Curry, it’s not a stretch to say the Warriors’ deficit would have been even more. Curry had a team-high 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting while hitting five of his seven threes, which helped soften the blow of the 13 fouls and 10 turnovers committed by Golden State in the first 24 minutes.
While the Warriors did not come out of the locker room with one of their patented, high-flying third quarter avalanches, they still managed to chip away at the lead over the course of the period. As Dallas’ scorching-hot shooting suddenly went cold — seemingly due to a desire to repeatedly attack Kevon Looney despite that not really working — Golden State managed to take advantage by continuously doing just enough, whether that was at the free throw line or catching the Mavs flatfooted.
Golden State got the lead all the way down to two. It was the deficit at the end of the period, thanks to a dunk by Looney as time expired to give the Mavericks only an 85-83 lead entering the fourth.
It took exactly one possession for the Warriors to take their first lead of the night, as Otto Porter started the fourth by drilling a corner triple.
Things seemed inevitable from the moment that shot went in. Golden State’s offense spent the quarter getting seemingly whatever it wanted, regardless of whether or not Curry was on the floor to serve as its catalyst. Even Draymond Green buried a triple at one point, which is usually a tried-and-true sign that it’s the Warriors’ night.
And even after Green fouled out with 2:25 left, Curry came up huge time and time again to get Golden State over the finish line.
Curry’s 32 points, eight rebounds, and five assists led the way for the Warriors, while Looney had a career-high 21 points with 12 boards. Jordan Poole scored 23 points off the bench, while Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson combined to score 31. Doncic’s 42 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and three steals stuffed the stat sheet, and Brunson was able to chip in 31 points, seven rebounds, and five dimes.
Game 3 between the Mavericks and Warriors will take place on Sunday night in Dallas. The game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.