Andrew Wiggins was considered such a toxic contract back in 2020 that the Golden State Warriors were given a first-round pick (which became Jonathan Kuminga) to take him on and send D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota.
That would be Andrew Wiggins the All-Star starter this year who had a career playoff high of 27 points and did this to Luka Doncic Sunday night.
🚨 WIGGINS POSTER ALERT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/tjj7Q7PdPI
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 23, 2022
On a night the Mavericks’ key role players went ice-cold — Reggie Bullock shot 0-of-10, Maxi Kleber was 0-of-5, Dorian Finney-Smith was 3-of-7 — the Warriors were hot enough behind Stephen Curry and his 31 points to win Game 3, 109-100.
That puts the Warriors up a likely insurmountable 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals, with Game 4 on Tuesday night in Dallas.
With its constant off-ball movement and wealth of shot creation, Golden State has proven the nightmare matchup for Dallas. All season long the Mavericks got the most out of what they had defensively — a lot of solid defenders but not elite ones — by getting everyone to play on a string, with sharp rotations and taking away what the other team wanted to do (as they did with midrange shots against Phoenix). The Warriors have broken that. They have multiple players who can attack off the dribble and get into the lane, which sends the Mavericks into scramble mode — Golden State thrives against that kind of chaos. Heading into the offseason, Dallas needs better perimeter defenders and more rim protection.
Luka Doncic had another massive offensive game, scoring 40 points on 11-of-23 shooting, and getting to the line 17 times. Doncic put on a show. Wiggins again made him work for it, but Doncic is an efficient scoring machine. However, as the series has gone on Doncic’s defensive deficiencies — exacerbated by the Warriors going at him to test his conditioning — have become a bigger problem for Dallas. He is one of the Mavericks defenders who cannot stay in front of his man.
Luka Doncic: “The first three quarters, I played very bad. That’s on me. I’m still learning. I think after this season is done, whenever we are, I’m going to look back and learn a lot of things. This is my first conference finals in NBA. I’m 23, man. I’m still learning a lot.”
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) May 23, 2022
Spencer Dinwiddie added 26 points off the bench for Dallas, and Jalen Brunson scored 20. The problem was Dallas players outside the big three of Doncic, Brunson and Dinwiddie combined to score 14 total points on 5-of-28 shooting.
Jason Kidd has been in enough playoff series, he sees the writing on the wall, but he and the Mavericks are looking at the big picture.
Jason Kidd: “This is just the beginning of our journey. … It’s cool to go through this. This isn’t the end, this is just the beginning.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 23, 2022
The Warriors are looking ahead to the NBA Finals.