Dallas Mavericks avoid Western Conference Finals sweep with Game 4 win over Golden State Warriors
Luka Doncic’s teammates stepped up in Game 4 as the Dallas Mavericks claimed a 119-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors to avoid being swept in the West Finals.
Prior to his side's defeat in Dallas, Warriors coach Steve Kerr refused to talk about basketball, instead delivering a passionate speech about gun laws in the United States following a school shooting in Texas, where 21 people were killed.
"When are we going to do something," Kerr shouted at his pre-game press conference. "I'm tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am so tired of the, excuse me, I am sorry, I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough!"
Steve Kerr on today's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022
The first quarter in Dallas was tight, with Warriors point guard Steph Curry starting hot. The hosts separated themselves from Golden State in the second and third quarter, going into the half up 15 before a huge opening quarter in the second half saw the Mavericks go into the final quarter up 29 points.
Golden State threatened a monumental comeback in the fourth, winning by 19 points to make the scoreline respectable at the end.
Seven Warriors players scored double-digit points on the night, with Moses Moody (10p) and Jonathan Kuminga (17p 8r) given some solid minutes off the bench as Kerr gave his starters some rest. Kuminga and Moody were terrific as they got the Mavericks lead down to eight at one point - but it wasn't enough.
Kerr opted for his starters to close things out after the great work of his bench players. Perhaps he should have allowed his young core to finish proceedings given the momentum they had.
Curry scored a team-high 20 points on the night after a solid first half which saw him pour in 15 points. Klay Thompson had 12 and Andrew Wiggins had 13.
No quit in this squad. pic.twitter.com/7UncJEXNH6— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 25, 2022
Doncic will have been happy to see his supporting cast step up in Game 4 having been let down in the three games prior.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 23, Reggie Bullock bounced back from his zero-point game to score 18, Jalen Brunson continued his solid post-season with 15 and Max Kleber also bounced back with 13. Doncic, unsurprisingly led scoring, dropping 30 points and contributing with 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks.
"Just got to finish the game. A win is a win," said Doncic. "I still believe we can win. Swept or not swept, if you lose, you lose. Got to go game by game."
"Everybody in that locker room felt like we had more basketball to play," Finney-Smith said. "We just wanted to get the win any way. ... Feel like we came out desperate that first half."
BALLIN' pic.twitter.com/hRWSkqf2te— x - Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) May 25, 2022
"It was almost like an ego win (for Dallas). You come out and really have nothing to lose. So that confidence started early," Curry said. "And we really didn't do nothing to slow it down, and then that's when the avalanche starts. You tip your hat to them."
"Just made the decision to see if we could pull off a miracle, but it wasn't meant to be," coach Steve Kerr said. "Dallas was great tonight. They deserved to win. This is the conference finals. This is how it's supposed to be."