To date, 146 teams have taken a 3-0 lead in an NBA best-of-seven series. These 146 teams have won all 146 times.
I like the Warriors’ chances.
But before we get to Game 4 and a potential sweep, let’s note the good guys who led the Dubs to victory in hostile territory. As always, we will assess weighting based on our expectations of each player.
Note: The league average true shot percentage (TS) was 56.6% this year.
37 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5 shots for 10, 50.0% TS, +19
I was very critical of Green for his performance in Game 2, when he struggled at both ends of the court, was constantly at fault and, frankly, had the chance of not being expelled.
I am not criticizing this performance. Because this performance was very good.
Green’s defense was sensational in the Game 3 win as he was all over the pitch playing the disrupter and rover in absolutely brilliant fashion.
He was aggressive offensively, which is huge for the Warriors with or without effective scoring.
And he was the emotional engine of the team, as he always has been when they are at their best. He was shouting. He was talking about trash. He was fired.
It was Dray, and he was awesome.
40 minutes, 27 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 fouls, 11 for 20 shots, 1 for 5 3, 4 for 5 free throws, 60.8% TS, +22
Forget career-high playoff points. Forget the very impressive double-double and rebounding elite in a game where the Dubs completely dominated Dallas on the glass. Forget the trio of assists and the lack of turnovers. Forget efficiency, which the Warriors will take nine days out of seven.
For scoring purposes, these things don’t matter, because if you do the following in a win, you get a perfect score.
The other stuff was really awesome too, though.
Post-match bonus: Led the team over/under and lives were taken.
29 minutes, 9 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, shooting 3 for 4, free throws 3 for 4, 78.1% TS, +5
For the second consecutive game, Looney collected 12 rebounds. And, for the second game in a row, he put on a one-sided rebounding performance, as the Warriors beat the Mavs on the glass 47-33.
The Mavs don’t have an answer for Looney and…listen, I love writing that sentence as much as you love reading it.
Post-match bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
39 minutes, 31 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 10 for 20 shots, 5 for 10 threes, 6 for 6 free throws, 68.5% TS, +19
Curry’s seriousness continues to be one of the most fascinating things about the NBA. Along with the 11 assists he had — a whopping number — there were countless plays where teammates had wide-open eyes because Dallas was giving Steph their full attention.
And the moment he got a bit of a break — either because of a defensive lapse or forcing the problem — he made the Mavs pay.
Just a superstar performance through and through and a masterclass in how to manipulate a defense to get what you want.
Post-match bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
39 minutes, 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 fouls, 6 for 18 shots, 3 for 10 threes, 4 for 4 free throws, 48.1% TS, +13
Klay really struggled to find his shot in this game, although I thought the shot selection was pretty nice. The blows simply did not fall.
He did make some huge stretch shots, though, and he felt like he was trying to make sure the Warriors could finish the series as quickly as possible so he could rest before a final push to a title.
After a disappointing defensive game on Friday, Thompson looked really good on defense in this game, and he did the little things, playing 39 minutes with no turnovers and gobbling up a few boards.
He looked good, the shot just didn’t fall.
Otto Porter Jr.
7 mins, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 for 2 shot, 50.0% TS, -8
Porter left the game in the second quarter with a foot problem… the other foot, not the one that ruled him out against Memphis.
He’s been sensational these playoffs, and the Warriors really need him to get back on the court.
Juan Toscano Anderson
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 turnover, -7
With the exception of one-second defensive possession appearances, it was JTA’s first garbage-free time in this playoff. The Dubs had to dig deep on the bench with Porter, Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II sidelined, and Damion Lee playing poorly on Friday.
So JTA had his number called, and even though he didn’t do much, it was good to see him there.
28 mins, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 2-for-4-3, 4-for-4 free throws, 86.8% TS, -6
While I prefer games where Poole burns the net, it was really fun to watch him have a low scoring game on high efficiency. He showed truly impressive restraint.
He has an unholy talent and learns the best ways to choose his places, while also understanding when to defer to his teammates.
He also did a lot of other things well in this game, and he gets a thumbs up for pulling the dagger at the end of the game.
16 minutes, 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul, 0 for 3 shots, 0 for 3 threes, 1 for 2 free throws, 12.9% TS, -12
Moody gets the minutes from Lee, and while that worked really well in the second half of Game 2, it didn’t particularly work in Game 3.
Always doing a good job avoiding bad mistakes, and it’s a testament to the rookie that Steve Kerr trusted him to defend Luka Dončić. But not a particularly strong performance.
Post-match bonus: The worst plus/minus of the team.
Sunday DNPs: Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga, Damion Lee
Sunday idlers: Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, James Wiseman
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