NBA playoffs vs. Golden State: Dallas perishes on the threes

As a basketball player, you don’t forget a game like that so quickly, the Dallas Mavericks have to live with this fate now. Of course, the Texans’ title chances aren’t gone after that second game in the NBA Semifinals against the Golden State Warriors, but the aftermath should be severe. The 117:126 in San Francisco gave the team around the German Maxi Kleber a 0:2 deficit in the series – it was a defeat of the most superfluous kind. And a sign that you should never be too sure in this sport.

The guests were partially in the lead with 19 points, Dallas played the favorites in front of their home crowd for almost half a time. It was 53:34, Luka Doncic put on his diabolical grin again, his teammates turned out to be a squadron of three and everything spoke for the Mavs’ next coup. Dirk Nowitzki’s former club sees itself as a shooting club in these NBA playoffs, almost every Dallas professional can hit shots from a distance – and if Doncic is in a good mood (he scores 42 points in the end), the team is one Spectacle.

The only problem is: Basketball doesn’t just consist of three-point shots, it has to fit together a bit more. The mix has to be right. And if you fail to score at some point, you will get into trouble. “If you miss four threes in a row, you can’t try the fifth,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd afterwards. He struggled with the choice of throws by his actors, who simply overdid it with the continuous fire. “And if you take the fifth, you have to do it. If you don’t, there’s a blowout, that happened in the third quarter.”

Dallas throws too many three-pointers against Golden State – and not all find their target

That phase after half-time almost hurt to watch. Too many attempts ended with the sound that no basketball player likes to hear: knock, the ball hit the ring and an opponent picked it up from there. You can decide by three-way games, as the Mavs have proven all too often with all their snipers named Reggie Bullock, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith or Kleber (who only got one shot this time). But you can also “perish” with the threes, says Kidd. 21 of 45 attempts ended up rushing through the trap. Actually not a bad rate – but when it counted, nothing worked anymore.

In the Warriors led by Stephen Curry (32 points), six players scored in double figures. Golden State worked their way up point by point thanks to Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney and, above all, the push from the immensely strong young professional Jordan Poole (23 points). “The experience and the chemistry – we have this attitude that we’re never really out. We believe in ourselves,” said Curry after the 200th playoff win in Warriors history. When Otto Porter Jr. finally scored 86:85, this exciting duel was turned.

Golden State won the final quarter 43:32, Dallas collapsed. “We played away against one of the best teams in the league,” said Jason Kidd, who looked devastated but still sees nothing decided in this series. “It’s happening. We just have to focus on game three now.” It takes place on Monday night (3 a.m.) in Dallas and from the Mavs point of view it all comes down to one thing: the ball has to go under the basket to the big boys, otherwise the offensive will seem too one-dimensional. “Live by the three – and die by the three”, it says in the USA. Just throwing threes can go terribly wrong.



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