television: TNT, 9 PM ET
BetMGM Line: Mavericks – 2.5
At halftime on Friday, the Dallas Mavericks looked poised for a 1-1 draw with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals. Luka Doncic was the best player on the field, scoring 24 points in the first half as Dallas led by 14 at halftime.
Then the wheel fell off. Warriors Assemble, and the Mavericks face another 2-0 series deficit with a chance to turn the series around at home. Can they win Game 3?
1: Can the Mavericks find an offense inside the 3-point line?
The Mavericks did their best to turn Game 2 into a 3-point game. In two quarters against the Golden State area, it worked. After scoring 87 points throughout Game 1, Dallas went into the half with a 72-58 lead in Game 2 on Friday, thanks in large part to a fierce effort from beyond the arc. The Mavericks controlled the game on 15 of 27 (55.5 percent) 3-point attempts in the first half.
But 55.5% is not a sustainable pace. The Mavericks lost a 13-point cold in the third quarter after halftime, and the Warriors cut the deficit to 85-83 before taking the lead early in the fourth. While the Mavericks’ 3-point shooting fell back to 33 percent (6-for-18) after halftime, the Warriors started Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, two of the best 3-pointers of all time shooter. .
Forty-five of the Mavericks’ 78 attempts (57.7 percent) came from beyond the arc, while the Warriors shot just 34.1 percent (28-for-82). The deep looks they got came in at a rate of 50% (14 out of 28).At the same time, they struggled to have a double-digit lead in the paint on 56.1 percent (46-of-82) shooting (46-of-82) in the paint to match the league’s 7th in regular season defense.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd knew his team couldn’t repeat the same mistakes and expected to play.
“When you’re 2-for-13 and you’re leaning on 3s, you can die for 3s,” Kidd said Friday of the Mavericks’ third-quarter effort. “And we made so many threes in the third quarter and only made two.”
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have struggled to find answers against the Warriors in the paint as they try to hold the ball inside.
Kidd and Doncic are looking for adjustments for Game 3.
2: How will the Mavericks respond at home?
The Mavericks lost their first home game of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz. They haven’t lost in Dallas since. They won games 2 and 5 at home against the Jazz, then beat Utah on the road in Game 6. They swept the Suns in games 3, 4 and 6, then beat Phoenix on the road in Game 7. They are 15.4 points in those five home wins. Expect a different Dallas team on Sunday.
3: Does a 2-0 deficit spell doom for Dallas?
Dallas fans will tell you they’ve been here before. The Mavericks looked lost after two games against the Suns, while going down the hole 2-0 in the division semifinals.After five games, they had an amazing upset Historic Game 7 rout The NBA’s best regular-season teams advance to the Western Conference finals.
That bounce was a statistical anomaly. Every basketball place, of the 441 teams trailing 2-0 in the NBA playoff series, only 32 have bounced back. That number includes the Mavericks’ win over the Suns. The 2-0 team has a 92.7% win rate.
History also doesn’t bode well for Dallas, considering only the conference finals, where teams leading 2-0 have a 71-6 (92.2 percent) record, according to TNT. If Dallas succeeds in two consecutive series, it would be a truly historic feat.