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Warriors overcome Doncic, Mavericks for earn 5th straight win

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Warriors overcome Doncic, Mavericks for earn 5th straight win

SAN FRANCISCO – With 90 seconds left, Draymond Green met Daniel Gafford at the rim, came down with the block and saved it before it went out of bounds.

Green flexed both biceps before scoring on the other end — his third bucket of the fourth quarter — to give the Warriors an eight-point lead with a minute to play.

Then Andrew Wiggins pushed a shot over Gafford with 32.2 seconds left. Dallas never relented and clawed within two, but the Warriors nonetheless narrowly escaped.

Steph Curry — who shot 5-for-18 and went scoreless in the fourth — didn’t have it, but the Warriors got just enough from his supporting cast to sneak past Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.

Doncic, Dallas’ offensive savant, dropped 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. But the Warriors (41-34), led by Chris Paul, Wiggins and Green, won key non-Curry minutes to earn their fifth straight victory.

Golden State’s 104-100 win over Dallas gives them serious breathing room at the bottom of the Western Conference play-in picture. The Warriors own a three-game lead on the Rockets, who lost Tuesday, with a Thursday matchup awaiting in Houston.

Wiggins missed his first three shots and committed a turnover, making for a slow start after his 2-for-12 performance in San Antonio. But he didn’t get discouraged and poured in 23 points — including 12 in the third quarter — while hitting half his shots.

Without Jonathan Kuminga, who missed his fourth straight game with bilateral knee tendinitis, the Warriors needed Wiggins to be aggressive. He answered the call with his third 20-point game in his past four contests.

Wiggins also played tough defense against Doncic, but it didn’t make a massive difference. Doncic is that good. No matter which on-ball defenders or which schemes Golden State tried, the Mavericks star had answers from every level of the court.

In the first half, each team traded buckets, turnovers and unsuccessful challenges. At one point, Curry stripped Derrick Jones Jr. on a spin move, but threw it out of bounds on the other end. Later, Wiggins stuffed Doncic, but Draymond Green turned it over immediately after. The lead changed hands nine times.

They even exchanged runs. The Warriors held Dallas scoreless for almost five minutes in the middle of the second period. Curry hit a pair of 3s and Gary Payton turned defense into offense for a 14-0 run that put the Warriors up 49-36. Then the Mavericks answered with a 13-0 blitz of their own to go into halftime tied.

The first half was eerily symmetrical; both teams committed 11 turnovers and shot 19-for-45 from the floor.

Doncic hit an array of step-back and catch-and-shoot 3s in the third, but Wiggins and the Warriors remained close. Moses Moody (12 points), in the rotation because of Kuminga’s absence, supplied productive two-way minutes.

Doncic out-dueled Curry and the Warriors for much of the third, but Golden State made the Mavericks pay when he sat. Chris Paul logged a fallaway, assist to Brandin Podziemski and a 3-pointer to lead a 9-0, quarter-closing run. After three frames, the Warriors led by six and Paul was a +12 in as many minutes.

Even when Doncic returned for the fourth, Paul kept Golden State’s second unit on the offensive. He drilled a baseline jumper at the shot clock horn, Podziemski nailed a 3 and Wiggins converted a push shot.

When Curry checked back in after an extended rest, the Warriors held a six-point lead. The Warriors double-teamed Doncic to make his teammates beat them.

They couldn’t. Dallas went cold. A pair of goaltending calls gave Green buckets. PJ Washington hit a 3 to cut Golden State’s lead to four with 25.9 seconds left and Kyrie Irving free throws made the Chase Center crowd even more nervous, but two Klay Thompson foul shots ended the scare.

And it makes the Rockets much less scary.



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