If you think Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks were sick after their 112-87 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in the series opener, they will need team load of vomit bags for their flight home Friday night after coughing up a 19-point lead and blowing a golden opportunity to win Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
The Mavs broke a team playoff record for 3s in a first half Friday night, going 15 of 27 in the first two quarters, but then Dallas simply went cold in the third quarter and never recovered as the Warriors ran by them for the 126-117 victory at the Chase Center and a 2-0 series lead.
Doncic scored a game-high 42 points and Jalen Brunson added 31 for the Mavs.
But the Warriors, led by 32 points from Steph Curry and a surprising 21 from Kevon Looney, outscored the Mavs 68-45 in the second half, including a 43-point outburst in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way, not after Doncic recovered from a horrible Wednesday night when he was throwing up and didn’t sleep at all.
And this was after the Mavs shot 11 of 48 from 3 and Doncic only scored 20 points, making 6 of 18 attempts.
He was better Thursday and cleared to play on Friday.
Doncic and the Mavs certainly looked like a rejuvanated team at the outset.
After making 3 of 19 3-pointers in the first quarter of Game 1, the Mavs opened 6 of 15. They led by as much 26-10 before taking a 32-25 lead after one.
Dallas kept the pressure on in the second quarter, twice leading by 19 points before going into the half up 72-58.
Doncic had 24 and Jalen Brunson had 20 to lead the way.
But the third quarter was a different story as Golden State made one of its patented runs after halftime and the Mavericks simply went cold, opening the period 1 of 9.
The Warriors outscored the Mavs 25-13 in the third quarter while Dallas shot 2 of 13 from 3.
The deficit was whittled to 83-81 heading into the fourth quarter, when the Warriors took their first lead at 86-85 early in fourth. There was no looking back.
The series returns to Dallas on Sunday night at 8 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.
All hope is not lost, as the Mavs rallied from being down 2 games to 0 against the Phoenix Suns to win the Western Conference semifinals.
So they are not going to give up when they come back to Dallas. But the Warriors are not the Suns. They have three titles on their resume and they don’t have a history of choking away 2-0 series leads.