The Golden State Warriors looked like the Western Conference Finals favorites in a blowout victory in Game 1 over the Dallas Mavericks. Despite first-half offensive struggles from both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Dubs routed Dallas in a 112-87 victory.
Andrew Wiggins was the star of the first quarter, scoring a game-high 10 points. Coming off his clutch Game 6 performance against the Memphis Grizzlies, Wiggins came out of the gates aggressive offensively and took advantage of the favorable matchups he received against the Mavericks defensive scheme, which prioritized limiting Curry. Outside of Wiggins, the Dubs shooting was unexceptional, but Kevon Looney grabbed multiple offensive rebounds and converted multiple second-chance opportunities.
On the other end of the floor, the Dallas offense was stifled by the Warriors, who threw several different defensive schemes at Dallas star Luka Dončić just in the first quarter. Dončić could not be totally shut down, but his teammates were unable to convert on the open shots he created. Without any offensive rhythm, the Mavericks trailed 28-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Curry began to find his footing offensively in the second quarter, but both teams continued struggling from three-point range. The Warriors briefly built a double-digit lead before relapsing into their turnover-prone play from the previous series. At the half, they led 54-45.
Dallas was 14-for-44 from the field in the first half, leaving many expecting the Mavericks to come back in the second half, but the Dubs had shot just 27.8% from three in their own right and gotten just 12 points on 4-19 shooting from the Splash Brothers.
Wiggins started the second half by nailing a step-back jumper that sparked a 10-0 Warriors run, as Curry turned a steal into a triple, Draymond Green grabbed a steal of his own that turned into a layup for Klay Thompson, and then Steph knocked down his second triple in three possessions. Just like that, the Warriors had a 64-47 lead, and the Mavs' feeble offense was never able to pull within striking distance.
Dončić had easily his least productive game of the postseason, recording just 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists on 6-for-18 shooting from the field with 7 turnovers. Wiggins did an exceptional job limiting Dončić’s opportunities, often picking him up full court to force him to exert more energy early in possessions.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored an efficient 17 points off the bench, but otherwise, the Mavericks did not get any other above-average performances.
The Warriors, on the other hand, had seven players score at least 10 points. Otto Porter Jr. and Jordan Poole scored 10 and 19, respectively, off the bench. Poole was 8-for-12 from the field, feasting inside against a Mavericks defense that lacks a standout rim protector.
Curry led the team with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists. Wiggins scored 19 points and grabbed five boards. Thompson rebounded from a scoreless first half with an excellent third quarter that helped him finish the game 7-for-13 from the field with 15 points. Green and Looney each scored 10.
The Mavericks, of course, are the underdogs in this series. Moreover, after falling behind 2-0 to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals, no one will likely be moved in this series until a team wins a road game. No matter how well Golden State played on Wednesday, there was only so much they could do in one game.
A Warriors loss in Game 1 would have sounded alarm bells. A Warriors win does much less. Still, Dub Nation would rather be here than elsewhere. They will have one day off before returning to action on Friday for Game 2, when Golden State will aim to defend Chase Center once again. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM Pacific on TNT.