By Terrance turner
May 26, 2022
The Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals (again) after beating the Dallas Mavericks in tonight’s Game 5. The Warriors got first possession, scored first and never let up, overwhelming the Mavericks with one three-pointer after another. The Warriors punched their ticket with their 120-110 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 on the Western Conference Semifinals tonight.
Golden State was off to the races from the first tip-off. After a 2-2 tie to start, the Warriors went on a 7-0 run, topped by a basket by small forward Andrew Wiggins. Golden State guard Stephen Curry added a three-pointer to extend the Warriors’ lead. Thompson scored from the field, giving Golden State a 14-5 advantage. Dallas pulled within two, but Golden State pulled ahead. The Mavericks managed to keep things close: with the score 28-20, Maverick guard Spencer Dinwiddie hit a three at the buzzer to help the Mavericks pull within five. The Warriors had a 28-23 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A minute into the second quarter, Jordan Poole fired from 28 feet away for the three, making it 33-25. A minute later — after Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson put up two — Klay Thompson hit a three of his own, pushing the lead to nine. Shortly thereafter, the Warriors stretched their lead to double digits after a jumpshot by Thompson and two made free throws by defender Draymond Green. Assisted by Green, Thompson hit a three-point jumper with 7:30 remaining to make it 45-32.
Their lead continued to grow throughout the second quarter. The Warriors led 56-41 with three minutes to go, after Dinwiddie scored in the paint and sank a free throw. But Green effortlessly drove to the basket for a layup, and then made his free throw. Dallas guard Frank Ntilikina answered with a three-point jumper, but Poole responded with his own two-point/free throw combo, and Golden State was up 62-44. By the two-minute mark thirty seconds later, Thompson had hit yet another three. It was 46-65 until a layup by Green pushed the lead to 21. Deft play by Dinwiddie chipped away at the Golden State lead, but the Warriors were up 69-52 at halftime.
The Warriors went on a 6-0 run to start the third quarter, topped by a 9-foot floating jump shot from Wiggins. They stayed up by 20 points for half of the quarter — until a driving floater by Curry pushed it to 25 with 5:41 to go. They maintained that commanding lead for the next two minutes, until the Mavericks caught fire and fought back.
Dallas made a run in the third, outscoring the Warriors 15-2 in the final 3:51 of the quarter, cutting the Mavericks’ 25-point deficit down to seven. But Golden State managed to go on a run of its own, rebuilding a comfortable lead and keeping the Mavericks out of scoring range for the remainder of the game. They outlasted Dallas to win, 120-100, winning the playoff series four games to one.
According to ESPN, Klay Thompson played his best game of the series, finishing with a game-high 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting, including eight. All five of the Warriors’ starters finished in double digits. In addition to Thompson’s best offensive performance of the series, Draymond Green had his best scoring game of the playoffs, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and nine assists. Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, while Kevon Looney had 10 and Stephen Curry scored 15. He was named Western Conference Finals MVP.
Appearing joyous and somewhat emotional, Curry had to compose himself before speaking with Ernie Johnson. “This is a blessing. Honestly, it’s a team effort,” Curry said. “This is special…Everything about this is special.” Thompson, too, seemed emotional as he spoke — understandable for a man who overcame several time-consuming injuries.
“It’s tough to put into words,” Thompson said. “Just incredible, man. I’m most grateful for my teammates, especially,” he added. “To be back in the Finals like this — it’s a dream come true.”