The Golden State Warriors took a commanding 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals thanks to a 126-117 win in Game 2 on Friday night. They are now just two wins away from getting back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019, and the sixth time in eight seasons.
This was one of the biggest wins the Warriors have had in years, but it did not come easy. They had to work their way back from a 19-point deficit in the first half, and in doing so secured the third-largest playoff comeback in franchise history. The only bigger ones were a 20-point comeback against the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015 and a 25-point comeback against the San Antonio Spurs in 2017.
In addition, this was the 12th time that the Warriors have come back to win a playoff game where they were trailing by at least 15 points since Steve Kerr took over as head coach during the 2014-15 season. No other team has as many such comebacks in the last 25 seasons.
After a cold shooting night in Game 1, the Mavericks came out on fire and needed less than six minutes to build a double-digit lead. They dominated the first half, shooting an incredible 15-of-27 from downtown, and had a real chance to even the series.
“I told them if we developed some poise in the second half the game would come to us,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought we were so scattered in the first half, maybe emotionally more so than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us… I thought Dallas was fantastic. They played harder, they executed better. We were scattered. We just needed to get poised and get the game under control. We felt confident if we did that they wouldn’t make 15 3s in the second half.”
Kerr was spot on with his assessment, as the Warriors responded with a terrific second half. They only had three turnovers, shot 61 percent from the field, and held the Mavericks to six 3-pointers. With their preferred offensive approach taken away, the Mavericks weren’t able to keep up and faded down the stretch.