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The Golden State Warriors battled back from 19 points down to shock the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday night 126-117.
The Warriors needed to dig deep after going into the locker room down 72-58. The Mavericks appeared to be on fire, hitting a ton of three-pointers. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson were both on fire for most of the first two quarters but the Warriors, as a team, came together to get back in the game.
Kevon Looney had a career-high 21 points in addition to 12 rebounds. His big game sparked the rest of the team to get back into their groove.
“It started with our defense. First half, they got to do whatever they want,” Looney told TNT’s Allie LaForce. “They got a lot of open threes. In the second half, we turned up the physicality. We were able to get them off the three-point line and make things tough for them. That was our gameplan. We didn’t execute in the first half but in the second half we came out and executed.”
Looney was asked what part of his game he took pride in most. He pointed to his defense.
“Getting stops. As a big, when you’re on an island with a guard and a great scorer like Luka, being able to get a stop is always a boost for us, the team, the crowd,” Looney said. “That was probably my favorite moment of the game.”
Looney’s career night was buoyed by Stephen Curry’s 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He was 11-for-21 from the floor, including 6-of-10 from three. Jordan Poole added 23 off the bench.
Curry hit the dagger with about a minute left in the game and signaled to the crowd it was time to say goodnight. Fans responded in kind, chanting “Warriors!”
Dallas started to simmer in the third quarter, which contributed to their loss of momentum. The team held the lead for most of the game but couldn’t keep the sharpshooting Warriors at bay.
Doncic led all scorers with 42 points. He was 12-of-23 from the floor and 5-of-10 from deep. Brunson added 31 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Golden State moved to 8-0 in this year’s playoffs at home.
There may be hope for the Mavericks. Dallas was down 2-0 to the Phoenix Suns in the conference semifinals before coming back to win the series.
Game 3 will be played in Dallas on Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. Golden State could move to within one game of getting back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019.