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Golden State Warriors makes fresh start in Western Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors makes fresh start in Western Conference Finals

Posted May. 20, 2022 08:05,   

Updated May. 20, 2022 08:05


Golden State Warriors, whose offense is famously strong, won the first round of the 2021-2022 Western Conference Finals of the National Basket Association (NBA) thanks to its seamless defense.

Golden State beat up Dallas Mavericks by a lopsided score of 112-97 in its home match held on Thursday at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. A combination of leading players’ evenly high scores and teamwork-based defense capabilities served as the key to the team’s first victory in this season’s finals.

Steph Curry of Golden State and Luka Dončić of Dallas are each team’s ace players. With all eyes on which team can successfully block the other side’s ace in the match, Golden Sate showed a higher level of defense than Dallas. Andrew Wiggins (19 points) scored as many as 10 points with the help of Curry’s speed in the 1st quarter, making his team lead the game by 28-18. The score gap remained the same halfway through the 2nd quarter thanks to Curry and Wiggins. However, as Dončić rushed to make shots including three-pointers around the end of the 2nd quarter, Golden State gave Dallas a chance to chase. Dončić scored as many as 18 points in the 1st half of the match.

Feeling a sense of urgency, Golden State tried its best to leave Dončić completely incapable in the 3rd quarter. Using a pick-and-roll screening cadre, Dončić deployed an offense strategy. Upon the change in man-marking defense players, Draymond Green and Wiggins conducted the help defense flawlessly. Getting the jitters, Dončić made two missteps immediately after the 3rd quarter started off, making things complicated on Dallas’ offense side. Snatching this opportunity, Curry made two three-pointers while Klay Thompson (15 points) also contributed to the team, making the score 64-47 with a wider gap, which indicated a de-facto confirmation of Golden State’s victory.

Recording none of successful shots in the 1st quarter, Thompson made as many as 11 points in the 3rd quarter only. Before players in help defense, Dončić started creating an opportunity for his team players on the opposite side to do an outside shot only late in the 3rd quarter, ending up with low success rates. Dončić only recorded two points and made as many as four mistakes in the 3rd quarter. He failed to score points in the 4th quarter as well.

Jae-Yeong Yoo elegant@donga.com