The Golden State Warriors look to get back on track and reach the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years when they host the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday. The Mavericks dominated Game 4 from start to finish and won 119-109 after the Warriors made a late surge.
Game 5 Key: Will Doncic Get Help Again?
Luka Doncic delivered as usual with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists but this time had plenty of help, with five of his teammates scoring at least 10 points, including Dorian Finney-Smith, who had 23 points with six rebounds and Reggie Bullock, who added 18 points on 6 of 10 from 3-point range after going scoreless on 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-7 from beyond the arc in Game 3.
The Warriors are a machine that saw prime LeBron James and were able to live with him getting 40/8/8 when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love didn’t play in the 2015 NBA Finals. As we predicted, the Mavericks won Game 4 because Doncic got way more help. The Dallas reserves not named Spencer Dinwiddie scored 23 points combined and while the Warriors bench outscored them, their contributions made a difference. The Mavs need more of the same on Thursday.
The Warriors trailed by as many as 29 points before making it 110-102 late in the game. They can’t afford another slow start. Golden State knows what they will get from Curry, Thompson, Green and Poole but it’s Kevon Looney who changes everything. Looney had just three points and six rebounds in Game 4 and that won’t be enough. He has to provide rebounding, size, physicality, easy baskets and alter the game defensively, when he does that the Warriors are practically unbeatable and he has to play a lot better in Game 5.
The other X-Factor has been Andrew Wiggins, who is elite in his role but had just 13 points on Tuesday. Wiggins has to be Golden State’s second-best player on Thursday. An aggressive finisher and slasher who can shoot from midrange, hit open 3-pointers and defend the other team’s best guy. Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins bring a burst of athleticism, energy and scoring outside of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Golden State needs more from them in order to put away the Mavs.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Dallas Mavericks: 3.55
• Golden State Warriors 1.34
• Dallas Mavericks +6.5 (1.99)
• Golden State Warriors -6.5 (1.82)
• Over 215.5 (1.90)
• Under 215.5 (1.91)
The Mavericks are:
• 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
• 21-10 ATS in their last 31 games against a team with a winning straight up record
The Warriors are:
• 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 games following an ATS loss
• 17-39 ATS in their last 56 Thursday games
The Under is:
• 6-2 in Dallas’ last eight games following an ATS win
• 5-2 in Dallas’ last seven games when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
• 5-2 in Dallas’ last seven games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
• 5-2 in Dallas’ last seven games following a straight up win
• 5-1 in Golden State’s last six games following a straight up loss
• 5-2 in Golden State’s last seven games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game
For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic is expected to score 34.4 points with 11.3 assists and 10.4 rebounds, making 11.5 field goals in 25.0 attempts.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry is projected to finish with 28.0 points, 8.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds, making 8.7 field goals in 20.6 attempts.
Mavericks +6.5 (1.99) and Under 215.5 (1.91)
Two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the total in this one. Average score in simulations is Golden State Warriors 106.8 to Dallas Mavericks 106.7.
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