If you watched the first 24 minutes of Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks on Friday night but turned the game off at halftime, you'd probably be pretty surprised to learn that the Warriors ended up winning by nine points. The Mavericks led the game, 72-58, at halftime, and they appeared to be in control of the contest. However, the game did a complete 180 in the second half. Golden State outscored Dallas by 12 in the third quarter, and then they outpaced the Mavs by 11 in the final frame to secure the victory.
With the win, the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the series, which will now shift to Dallas for Sunday night's Game 3. No team wants to fall behind by two games in a playoff series, but Dallas came from 0-2 down to oust the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the last round.
Here's everything you need to know about the third game in the series between Golden State and Dallas.
(3) Golden State Warriors vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks
- When: Sunday, May 22 | 9 p.m. ET
- Where: American Airlines Center -- Dallas, Texas
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: GS +125; DAL -145; O/U 218 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Warriors: You can never count the Warriors out of a game. Even when the Mavericks took a large lead into the halftime locker room in Game 2, the contest still felt far from over, and that proved to be the case. After being down by as many as 19 in the first half, the Warriors stormed all the way back in the second half to claim the win.
It was the 12th time that the Warriors have come back from a deficit of 15 or larger in the playoffs to win the game since Steve Kerr took over as head coach prior to the 2014-15 season. That's the highest number for any team in the last 25 seasons, per ESPN. That stat is a testament to coach Kerr, and the guys he has in the locker room. Even if things don't go their way early on, they don't panic. Instead they stay on course and trust that the ball will start to bounce their way, and often it does.
Mavericks: If there was a bright spot for Dallas in Game 2, it was the play of the starting backcourt. In Game 1, Doncic and Jalen Brunson combined for just 34 points and eight assists. On Friday night, that duo blew those numbers out of the water. Doncic alone scored 40 and had eight assists, and Brunson added 31 and five assists of his own. For those that don't enjoy math, that's a combined 71 points and 12 assists -- stellar production.
Unfortunately for Dallas, that duo didn't get much help from the rest of the roster, save for Reggie Bullock, who had 21 points. The duo of Doncic and Brunson can only do so much heavy lifting for the Mavs on the offensive end, so they're going to need more from guys like Spencer Dinwiddie (four points in 22 minutes) and Maxi Kleber (three points in 33 minutes) moving forward in the series.
It's now or never for the Mavs, because if they fall behind 3-0 the series is as good as over. Dallas showed in the first half of Game 2 that the team has a game plan that works against the Warriors, the Mavs just need to follow it for a full 48 minutes. With their home fans behind them, look for the Mavs to come out focused and motivated. Pick: Mavericks -2.5