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Warriors Beat Mavericks 120-110 to Return to NBA Finals

(AP) SAN FRANCISCO — Klay Thompson began dancing on the bench as the time ticked down the final seconds before being moved to tears during a celebration with his teammates.

Thompson is rounding into form after two major surgeries and two years of arduous recuperation, and has blasted the Golden State Warriors back into the NBA Finals.

The Warriors moved to their sixth finals in the last eight seasons by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night. Thompson shimmied his way to 32 points, and the Warriors advanced to their sixth finals in the last eight seasons.

“It’s difficult to put into words,” Thompson added. “This time last year, I was just getting back into jogging and walking around the court.” I’m simply thrilled to be feeling like myself again, explosive and confident in my moves.”

Thompson tore his left ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals during a season-ending Game 6 defeat to Toronto, and subsequently tore his right Achilles’ tendon just before the start of the 2020-21 season. Thompson returned to action in January after missing the playoffs in both of the seasons he was out due to injury.

He’s getting close to reclaiming his prior level of stardom, as seen by his performance against the Mavericks.

As the Warriors raced out to a 17-point halftime lead and coasted the rest of the way, Thompson scored 19 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer that he accentuated with teammate Stephen Curry’s characteristic shake.

Draymond Green remarked, “You could tell how much was missing a previous couple of years.” “We’re fortunate to have Klay Thompson back, as we know how talented he is.”

Green had 17 points, Wiggins had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Curry had 15 points and nine assists. He received the MVP award for the series.

Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 28 points after a sluggish start. Spencer Dinwiddie chipped in with 26 points.

The Warriors are returning to a familiar stage after missing the playoffs in back-to-back injury-plagued seasons in 2020 and ’21. They join Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls from the 1990s, Magic Johnson’s Lakers from the 1980s, and Bill Russell’s Celtics from the 1950s and 1960s as the only organizations to reach the NBA Finals six times in eight years.

“I don’t know what to say for our team, our guys, especially the core group, to be a part of that six times in eight years,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It just takes a lot of skill, determination, and hard work.”

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 2, Golden State will host the winner of the Eastern Conference finals between Boston and Miami. The Celtics are up 3-2 in the series heading into Game 6 on Friday night at TD Garden.

After losing a chance to conclude a series on the road by winning at home, the Warriors repeated their trend from the first two rounds. This playoffs, Golden State is 9-0 at the Chase Center, tying the 2017 team for the most consecutive home wins in a single postseason in NBA history.

Thompson had eight 3-pointers in this game for the record-setting sixth time in the playoffs, after making just seven in the first four games of the series.

The past two have came in clinchers against Memphis and Dallas in the last two rounds, raising speculation over whether his moniker should be changed from “Game 6 Klay” to “Clinching Klay” because of his history in that game.

“With ‘Game 6 Klay,’ I’m happy.” With a smirk, Thompson responded, “I don’t need another moniker.” “It’s wonderful that I don’t have to bring him out just yet.”

Thompson nailed one from the corner before dancing to give the Warriors a 13-point lead in the first half, and he added two more early in the third quarter for a 23-point edge.

Thompson nailed one from the corner before dancing to give the Warriors a 13-point lead in the first half, and he added two more early in the third quarter for a 23-point edge.

In the closing minute of the third quarter, Dallas trimmed a 25-point lead to eight points, but couldn’t get over the hump in the fourth.

Doncic stated, “I don’t enjoy losing, especially not like this.” “I was a lousy player. But, in terms of our season, I’m quite pleased with this group… Nobody expected us to be here. But rest assured, we fought until the last end.”

Doncic stated, “I don’t enjoy losing, especially not like this.” “I was a lousy player. But, in terms of our season, I’m quite pleased of this group…. Nobody expected us to be here. But rest assured, we fought until the last end.”

SLOW START

Doncic struggled early on, going 2 for 10 in the opening quarter. Since LeBron James missed all nine of his tries in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta in 2015, he has the most misses in the first quarter of a playoff game with eight.

Before rediscovering his stroke in the third quarter, Doncic was restricted to six points on 2-for-12 shooting in the first half, the lowest first half of his playoff career.

Coach Jason Kidd stated, “We need Luka to go big a lot of nights just to give us a shot, and unfortunately the ball just didn’t go for him today.” “I believe he handles the weight as well as anyone, and I believe that as an organization, we can assist in lightening that load as we move forward.”

MANIA MOODY

With Otto Porter (left foot) out for the second straight game, Moses Moody, a 19-year-old rookie, gave the Warriors a major lift in the first half.

Moody scored all seven of his points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer that put Golden State up 56-38. Moody scored just six points the first three games of this series for the Warriors before scoring 17 the past

MANIA MOODY 

With Otto Porter (left foot) out for the second straight game, Moses Moody, a 19-year-old rookie, gave the Warriors a major lift in the first half.

Moody scored all seven of his points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer that put Golden State up 56-38. For the Warriors, Moody had only six points in the first three games of the series before scoring 17 in the final game.

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