Watch CBS News

Steph Curry scores 31, Warriors dominate the boards in Game 3 win

DALLAS (CBS SF) --  Steph Curry scored 31 points and had 11 assists Sunday night leading the Golden State Warriors to the brink of their sixth NBA Finals in eight years with 109-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

The victory gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. In order for Dallas to prevent Golden State from advancing, they will need a historic effort.  No team has ever comeback from a 3-0 playoff deficit.

Andrew Wiggins shared the limelight with Curry, scoring 27 points -- including a thunderous dunk over Dallas star Luka Doncic -- and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Initially, Wiggins called for an offensive foul on the play.

"Just feeling the energy," he said of the play. "You know, that was the main thing when I seen the rim, that's all I seen. They tried to take it away from me but Steve challenged and we won. Thank him for that."

Klay Thompson scored 19 with a pair of big fourth-quarter 3-pointers as the Warriors moved within a victory of a return to the NBA Finals, three years after the end of a run of five consecutive trips that yielded three championships.  

Draymond Green and Jordan Poole each had 10 points while Kevon Looney continued to hammer the boards with 12 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Doncic scored 40 points, but only had three assists. Dallas is now 2-6 in playoff games in which Doncic scores 40 or more.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 26 points and Jalen Brunson chipped 20 for the Mavericks who got just 14 points from the rest of their roster.

The game pivoted on the Warriors dominating the paint and the Mavericks being ice-cold from the 3-point line. Golden State outrebounded Dallas 47-33 with 14 of those coming on the offensive glass. Dallas hit on just 13 of 45 from deep.

"I've said this, jump-shooting teams, we're going to live and die by the three, but we're also dying by not getting the rebound and giving them second-chance opportunities," said Mavs coach Jason Kidd.

Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, two long-range specialists for Dallas, missed all 12 of their 3s combined and were 0-15 overall. Both went scoreless.  

From the opening tip, the Warriors aggressively attacked the Dallas defense, picking up 13 assists in the first half with their motion offense in high gear.

"We knew we had to come out and start this game off right, and kind of seize control, not come out frantic, not come out turning the ball over. Just come out and be solid," Draymond Green said. "To be able to say that's what we wanted to do and actually do it, like that was another step of growth for this team because although we have been saying it, we haven't been able to do that."

They also once again took control of the paint, holding an 28-18 advantage on the boards with 8 offensive rebounds at the break. 

After Golden State rolled to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, the Mavericks finally stopped throwing up 3-point shots and attacked the rim.

Dallas pulled to within 25-22 by the first break and took the lead midway through the second quarter before Golden State used a 10-0 run as the clock wound down to grab a slim 48-47 halftime lead.

Curry had 16 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists in the half with Wiggins adding 13 points and 6 rebounds.  Doncic scored 15 points but had just one assist. 

The most tense moment of the series came late in the first half after a corner 3 from Curry capped an 8-0 run that put the Warriors in front by a point and helped them to a 48-47 halftime lead. And it left Curry confused.

Curry ran the length of the court with his tongue hanging out after Dallas called timeout. As he circled back toward his bench, Curry walked by Doncic with teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson nearby.

Doncic appeared to take issue with something Toscano-Anderson said and started toward the Golden State bench before officials along with coaches and players from both teams intervened. Meantime, Draymond Green and injured Dallas guard Tim Hardaway Jr. exchanged unpleasantries about 45 feet apart.

After the timeout, Curry could been seen saying, "What happened?" and approached Doncic to talk about it. The exchange ended with Green as the peacemaker with Doncic.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.