SAN FRANCISCO – Klay Thompson scored a game-high 32 points and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
All five starters for the Warriors scored in double figures and shot 51-percent from the floor. Golden State made 45 shots on 36 assists.
Thompson was hot from the start, he scored 19 points in the first half. It was the highest scoring half this postseason for Thompson. He finished 12-for-25 from the field, including 8-for-16 from three-point range. In the first four games of the series, Thompson made just seven three-pointers combined.
Thompson gave the Warriors a 13-point lead in the first half after drilling a three-pointer from the corner and took a page from his backcourt mate Stephen Curry’s book by shimmying to the crowd. Golden State outscored the Mavericks, 41-29 in the second quarter and took a 69-52 lead into halftime which was their largest lead at the break this postseason.
“Just such a surreal feeling. It’s hard to put into words really,” an emotional Thompson said postgame. “It’s hard to put into word really. This time last year, I was just starting to jog again and get up and down the court. Now to be feeling like myself, feeling explosive, feeling sure in my movement, I’m just grateful.”
By the third quarter, Golden State’s lead ballooned to 25 points before Dallas went on a 15-2 run to cut the Warriors lead down to eight points in the final minutes but that would be the closest the Mavericks would get.
Thompson nailed a corner three-pointer with three minutes left in the fourth quarter that pushed Golden State’s lead to 15 points.
Andrew Wiggins finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Draymond Green finished with 17 points (postseason high), nine assists and six rebounds. Jordan Poole had 16 points, six rebounds and six assists.
“Extremely excited,” said Poole. “Really special moment. We worked all season for this, long season. A lot of highs, some lows. Being able to, you know, win the Western Conference with this group of guys is special.”
Curry had 15 points on 5-for-17 shooting and nine assists. After the game, he was awarded the inaugural Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP trophy after averaging 23.8 points, seven assists and six rebounds in five games against the Mavericks this postseason.
Luka Doncic had a rough start, he went 2-for-10 in the first quarter. His eight missed shots in the opening period tied for the most misses since LeBron James missed all nine of his shots in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks in 2014 according to Elias Sports.
In the first half, Doncic scored just six points, his lowest opening half of his postseason career on 2-for-12 shooting before coming alive in the second half. He finished with a team-high 28 points on 10-for-28 shooting and 3-for-13 from behind the three-point arc. Doncic added nine rebounds and six assists.
After the game, Doncic acknowledged that he has to get better heading into next season to help the Mavericks take the next step at winning a championship.
“I mean, obviously you can improve in everything, you know, every time,” Doncic said. “Obviously, I’ve got a lot of ways to improve, but that’s true.”
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half. He shot 7-for-12 from the field, including five made three-pointers.
“Yeah, I just told the guys, unfortunately, we didn’t play our best game,” said Dallas head coach Jason Kidd said. “Tip our hat to Golden State. They won the series. But we accomplished a lot, and it started with two words, ‘accountability’ and ‘chemistry.’ That’s who we are. We’ve come from October to the end of May playing when no one had us playing at the end of May. But those guys in that locker room believe that they could compete and play at a high level.”
After losing the rebounding edge 46-43 in Game 4 to the Mavericks for the first time this series, the Warriors outrebounded Dallas 51-34 in Game 5. Kevon Looney finished with a team-high 18 rebounds (seven offensive) to go along with his 10 points for Golden State.
“That’s the goal. That’s my job, to go out there and rebound,” said Looney. “When it’s time to close the series out, it’s always going to be tougher. You want to up your game. That’s one area I can really affect the game and make a difference. Tonight, I did a good job.”
Golden State was perfect from the free throw line, going 16-for-16 from the charity stripe. The Warriors outscored the Mavericks 50-32 in the paint while committing just 11 turnovers.
After multiple injuries in 2020 and 2021, the Warriors missed the playoffs but after tonight’s win, they are returning to the NBA Finals. Golden State is the first team to make six Finals appearances in an eight-year span since the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls had a pair of three-peats from 1991-93 and 1996-98.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “It’s so difficult to get to the Finals. An NBA season is such a marathon. To get through the 82 [regular season games], to get through three rounds of the playoffs, beating the best teams in the league to get there, it’s frankly exhausting. It’s stressful, emotional, physically tiring, all of that stuff.”
Golden State will host the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat on June 2 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics lead the Heat 3-2 heading heading into Game 6 Friday night in Beantown.
The Warriors remains undefeated (9-0) at Chase Center this postseason and improve to 21-10 in series-clinching games and 13-4 in Game 5s dating back to the 2015 postseason.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter