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Warriors rally from 19 down to beat Mavericks, gain 2-0 series lead

Stephen Curry scored 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight rebounds, Kevon Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors used one of their signature third-quarter flurries to rally past the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Luka Doncic and the Mavericks led most of the way before the Warriors took their first lead of the night on Otto Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer 18 seconds into the fourth. Porter’s three-point play with 7:21 remaining made it 100-92.

Doncic scored 42 points, 18 in the first quarter — two shy of his total for all of Game 1. His 3-pointer with 13 seconds before halftime put Dallas up 72-58 at the break and gave him 24 points.

He even got a Twitter shoutout from Oakland’s own MC Hammer: “Ok young Luka … We see you.”

But the Warriors answered with a 25-13 third quarter to pull to 85-83 going into fourth — a third quarter reminiscent of those that defined so many of their recent playoff runs.

Doncic shot 12 for 23 and shined in a game of brilliant shotmaking — the Warriors finished 56.1% from the floor. In the first half alone, Dallas edged Golden State 52.3% to 51.2%, including a remarkable 55.6% to 53.3% from 3-point range.

The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday. Golden State is two wins from a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since making five straight trips from 2015-19.

Jordan scored 23 points off the bench, Wiggins had 16 and Klay Thompson — held scoreless in the first half of the series opener — added 15 points for a second straight game.

Jalen Brunson scored eight of the first 14 Dallas points on the way to 31. The Mavericks didn’t have to see as much of Draymond Green, who picked up his fifth foul with 6:01 left in the third, then returned with 6:33 left before fouling out with 2:25 to go.

The teams tangled with 8:03 left in the second quarter in front of the Dallas bench. Warriors reserve Damion Lee closed out as Davis Bertans hit a 3-pointer from the corner and Bertans tripped Lee and sent him in a flip hard to the floor. Lee had to be held back by official Eric Lewis.

The players were issued double technicals.

In Game 1 two days earlier, Doncic faced smothering defense from Wiggins and shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep.

“Luka just didn’t make shots,” coach Jason Kidd said in predicting a far better outing in Game 2.

Golden State continued to push the pace and committed 16 turnovers after 15 in the opener.

RELIABLE LOONEY

Moved back into the starting lineup for the clinching Game 6 of the semifinals against Memphis, Looney shot 10 for 14 after making all five of his field goals in Game 1.

He notched his second career postseason double-double.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Dallas led by as many as 16 in the opening quarter. … The Mavs were outrebounded again at 43-30 after a 51-35 disadvantage in Game 1. They committed one fewer turnovers with 12 after Doncic had seven in the series opener. “We’ve got to take care of the ball because the Warriors once you turn the ball over, they’re gone, and a lot of times it’s an open 3,” Kidd said beforehand.

Warriors: G Gary Payton II — who broke his left elbow on a hard foul when Memphis star Dillon Brooks clobbered him May 3 on a fast break for a Flagrant 2, ejection and one-game suspension — is doing light individual work on court that includes shooting with his non-dominant right hand and will be re-evaluated in a week. … F Andre Iguodala missed his ninth straight game with a disc injury in his neck is continuing his rehab with physical therapy and training in the weight room with some light on-court work. The Warriors said they will provide an update when he’s cleared to practice. … Golden State improved to 8-0 at home this postseason and is 18-5 in Game 2s dating to the 2015 title run. … Green was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

QUOTABLE

“Steph is the best-conditioned athlete in this game, he never stops moving.” — Kidd.

Credit: AP

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