The Golden State Warriors are one win away from the NBA Finals after beating the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 in Game 3 on Sunday night. Led by a 31-point performance from Stephen Curry, and 27 points from Andrew Wiggins, Golden State once again asserted its dominance over Dallas to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Luka Doncic tried to will the Mavericks to a win with 40 points, 11 rebounds and three assists but, once again, despite the combined 46 points from Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas did not have enough in the tank to finish off the win to get back in this series.
The Warriors will try and close out this series on Tuesday, and if they do they’ll await the winner of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat series in the Eastern Conference.
Here are three takeaways from Game 3 in Dallas.
1. Andrew Wiggins, take a bow
Let’s just take a look at this absurd dunk that Wiggins had on Doncic in the fourth quarter.
That’s Dunk of the Year material right there. In fact that’s better than any of the dunks we saw during the Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend earlier this season. It’s a dunk that was the cherry on top of what was another stellar performance from Wiggins, who finished with a playoff career-high of 27 points to go along with 11 boards and three assists while shooting 55 percent from the field.
Wiggins has been outstanding for Golden State all series long, averaging over 20 points while also drawing the toughest defensive assignment in guarding Doncic on the other end of the floor. While Doncic is still getting his points, Wiggins has been making like incredibly difficult on the Slovenian superstar, and somehow he’s still finding enough energy to finish dunks like that in the fourth quarter despite playing the most minutes of any Warriors player.
Wiggins has shifted between sometimes being the second-best player on this team, to be the ideal role player Golden State needs him to be when Curry and Klay Thompson get in a jam. His steady production on both ends of the floor, which also included six offensive rebounds, is part of the reason Dallas is having such a miserable time at trying to guard this Warriors team.
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2. Dallas role players no-show in critical Game 3
When the Mavericks went down 0-2 in the conference semifinals against the Phoenix Suns, they responded with four of their five starters scoring in double figures to grab a Game 3 win. Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber combined for 43 points in that game to give Dallas — and Doncic — the boost it needed to get back in the series.
That was not the case on Sunday evening. While Doncic got plenty of help from his backcourt mates in Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, who combined for 46 points, Bullock went a scoreless 0-10 from the field in 39 minutes of action. Finney-Smith had just nine points, while Kleber also finished with zero points on 0-5 from the field. When all three of those guys are shooting that poorly, Dallas isn’t going to win many games.
Though Dallas managed to keep it close down to the final buzzer, unlike in the previous two contests of this series, it just didn’t feel like they could make a legitimate run without guys like Bullock, Finney-Smith and Kleber making shots.
3. Warriors one win away from NBA Finals
Golden State has been dominant through this entire series, and are now one win away from reaching its sixth NBA Finals in eight years. It’s crazy to think that if it weren’t for injuries to both Thompson and Curry in the last two years, the Warriors may be on the cusp of reaching their eighth-straight NBA Finals, that’s just how talented this team has been over the last eight years.
There’s still work to be done, because Doncic and the rest of the Mavericks squad will surely do everything in their power to try and extend this series and avoid a sweep. But with the Warriors comfortably in the driver’s seat right now, it’s not too early to start thinking about the next opponent on the calendar.