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Curry, Wiggins lead Golden State to a 112-87 opening Western Conference Finals win

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) -- Steph Curry scored 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and sat out the entire fourth quarter as the Golden State Warriors rolled to a 112-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night in the opening game of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Chase Center, where the raucous, yellow-clad sellout crowd brought back memories of that 2007 "We Believe" Warriors playoff team that shocked the No. 1-seeded Mavericks in a six-game first-round upset at Oracle Arena.  

After a three-game COVID hiatus, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was back on the bench for Game 1 and the difference in the team's play was noticeable. 

"It was great to be back. I missed being out there with the guys," Kerr said. "Amazing atmosphere here at Chase and we're excited to keep going."  

Their swarming defense stymied Dallas star Luka Doncic, holding him 20 points on 6-for-18 shooting and forcing him into seven turnovers.

"They did a really good job. Wiggins picking him up full court," Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. "They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We'll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better."

Stopping Doncic is the tall task this time after the Warriors already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early last series before his knee injury.

"I thought Wiggs was fantastic," Kerr said. "Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. ... It's important to make him work. He's so good. Any great player in the league you're trying to limit the damage that they do."

Meanwhile, Golden State's motion offense was in high gear. The Warriors had 24 assists and finished with a 51-35 advantage on the boards.

Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole scored 19 apiece, Klay Thompson added 15 and Kevon Looney, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. each scored 10 points. 

"We didn't shoot a great percentage from 3 but we knocked enough down to win big," Thompson said.  

As has been their trademark all season long, the Warriors have come out to start the second half and have blitzed the Mavericks.

Fueled by a pair of Curry 3-pointers, Golden State ran off a 10-0 run to built their halftime advantage from 54-45 to 64-47 in the first 2:30 of the quarter. By the end of the quarter, the Warriors held a 19-point lead. 

They didn't take the foot off the pedal, opening the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to build  92-69 point lead that had the Mavericks -- who were coming off a 33-point, Game 7 beat down of Phoenix -- shaken and the Chase Center crowd rocking.

They never looked back.

 Kidd's Mavericks couldn't keep up in a drastic contrast of styles featuring the slow-paced Dallas attack and up-tempo Warriors.

"We would like to play our pace but the Warriors have a unique pace, they're going to get out and put a lot of pressure on your defense in transition," he said. "We have to be cautious of that. We don't want a track meet."


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