What we learned as Dubs fall to Mavs in Game 4 despite rally originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea:
DALLAS – Instead of brooms, mops were needed Tuesday night at American Airlines Center during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. The Warriors trailed by 15 points at halftime and a 16-minute rain delay from two separate leaks in the roof did not do any favors in their 119-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Warriors came out like a team looking to end the series and enjoy a whole lot of rest, but instead will be back at Chase Center for Game 5 on Thursday with a three-games-to-one lead. While the Mavs could not miss, the Warriors simply could not get it going for the majority of the game and kept finding themselves in foul trouble. Their zone defense will be studied during film sessions, and some serious changes could be in store.
The bright side? The Warriors’ bench nearly pulled off an incredible comeback.
Steph Curry scored 20 points to go with eight assists and five rebounds. Andrew Wiggins scored 13, Klay Thompson ended with only 12 and Draymond Green scored 10 points for the Warriors.
Luka Doncic did not exactly shoot the lights out, going 10-for-26 from the field and 3-for-11 from 3-point range, but he did score 30 points while also adding 14 rebounds and nine assists. A plethora of Mavs put up points, and four of their five starters scored at least 15 points.
On a night where basketball came second, the Mavs came out on top and the series heads home to San Francisco.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ Game 4 10-point loss to the Mavs.
Make It Rain:
For how much it poured outside the arena, the Mavs took it to new heights inside their home building. The Warriors waited and waited for them to start to miss. But it felt like that time would never come.
When the Warriors completed their 19-point comeback in their Game 2 win, a large reason was how much the Mavs cooled off from long distance. That was not the case this time. The Warriors were outscored by 24 points from long distance in the first half, and 30 for the game.
While Dallas went 20-for-43 on 3-point attempts, the Warriors made 10 of their 28 attempts.
Youth In Revolt:
The Warriors remain led by three players north of 30 in Curry, Thompson and Green, but it’s clear the future is on its way. With veteran Otto Porter Jr. out to left foot soreness, Steve Kerr gave Porter’s rotation minutes to rookie Jonathan Kuminga. To open the second quarter, Kuminga was joined by fellow rookie Moses Moody, along with Jordan Poole.
That’s two 19-year-olds and a 22-year-old sharing the court in a close-out game during the conference finals. The results were mixed.
Kuminga gave the Warriors instant energy and quickly drew two fouls. He scored seven points, along with five rebounds in the first half but was a minus-9 as the Warriors trailed by 15 points going into halftime. Moody and Poole each were a minus-10 going into halftime, and the Warriors’ offense stagnated while their defense struggled.
Poole continued to deal with early foul trouble and could not get his shot going. That is, until the fourth quarter when the Warriors’ bench rallied them back from being down by 29 points. Kerr rode the bench until a Kuminga 3-pointer cut their deficit to only eight points with a little over three minutes to go.
Moody and Kuminga trail only Kobe Bryant for the most conference finals minutes by a 19-year-old. Kuminga scored 17 points, snatched eight rebounds and was a plus-9. Moody scored 10 points and was a plus-4.
Third Time Isn’t The Charm:
Ever since their Game 3 win Sunday night, the Warriors stressed how hard close-out games are. Kerr refused to look ahead to a possible NBA Finals matchup, and for good reason. The Warriors are now 0-for-3 in close-out games on the road during these playoffs.
A sweep would have been a huge benefit, too.
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Now, the Warriors can only hope Porter gets healthy for Game 5. They’re still waiting on the possible returns of Gary Payton II and Andre Iguodala, but it’s highly unlikely either player is available in the immediate future. The West finals only having one day in between games hasn’t been kind to Thompson either.
The last thing the Warriors want to do is see this series continue to be extended. A strong Game 5 performance is a must.