There are two Andrew Wigginses.
There is the Wiggins that existed before his fourth-quarter dunk on Luka Dončić Sunday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, and the Wiggins that emerged from the play that will prove to be the definitive highlight of the Warriors’ run to a sixth Western Conference Championship in eight years.If you have been paying attention to the Warriors this postseason, you know that there is no actual difference between these two Wigginses — just as you’ll know the Warriors are one win away from the NBA Finals after the wing’s 27 point performance in a 109-100 victory in Dallas.But the change is not of the player himself, but rather the perception of him.The playoffs are where reputations are cemented and legacies created.Yes, most of the folks having these fanciful conversations aren’t actually watching the games, but we know they’ll see the highlight of Wiggins taking off from just past the bottom of the free-throw circle, elevating a level (or two) above the rim, snatching Dončić’s soul on the way up and two points for the Dubs on the way down.The dunk won’t be part of the first line of Wiggins’ basketball obituary, but it will be the first thing that people will see when they search him on Google or YouTube — and isn’t that a bigger dealBut the playoffs are also a spot where weaknesses are exposed. In the regular season, teams are just trying to get to their jet in one piece — the 82 games all blend together and coaches are only focusing on their teams. In the playoffs, coaches are focusing not on their team, but on what the other team cannot do. The good ones will ruthlessly attack those weaknesses 50 straight possessions if no adjustment is made.All this to say that there are 82-game players and 16-win players and there’s a big difference between the two.It looked obvious, at least to me, in the first game this postseason that Wiggins was a 16-win player who had waited eight seasons to finally play in a true high-stakes playoff series.He was doing all the little things that affect winning — his rebounding, in particular, was immense for a team that was small in its first two series.But he was doing the big things, too. He’s averaged 20 points per game in this series against the Mavericks and has been Dončić’s primary defender, as well
Photos: Golden State Warriors are one win away from NBA finals after defeating Dallas Mavericks
The Golden State Warriors hung on to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 on Sunday night.
The Warriors are now one win away from the NBA Finals.Stephen Curry led the way with with 31 points, made five 3-pointers and dished out 11 assists while grabbing five rebounds. Andrew Wiggins scored 10 of his playoff career-high 27 points in the final quarter and finished with 11 rebounds. He dunked over Luka Dončić, sending the 23-year-old to the ground, and the offensive-foul call was overturned.Dallas will host a critical Game 4 on Tuesday night. If the Warriors sweep the series, it’ll be their sixth trip to the NBA finals in eight years.Bay Area News Group’s Madeline Kenney contributed to this report.Click if you’re having trouble viewing the photos on your mobile device.
During the 4th quarter of Golden State’s Game 3 victory, Andrew Wiggins threw down the dunk of the playoffs. Putting Luka Doncic on a poster, Wiggins made an incredibly athletic play above the rim that the refs tried to take away. Wiggins and his team were able to celebrate only momentarily, as official Marc Davis ran over to call the play an offensive foul on Wiggins. After being successfully challenged by Steve Kerr, the call was overturned, and the dunk stood. Unsurprisingly, Wiggins was pleased with the ruling.Just feeling the energy,” Wiggins said of his dunk. “That’s the main thing when I see the rim. That’s all I see. They tried to take it away from me, but Steve challenged it and we won. So thank him for that.” When asked specifically about official Marc Davis initially ruling the play an offensive foul, Wiggins said, “I feel that dunk would still be alive [if it remained an offensive foul].” Wiggins admitted he was surprised by the call, but added that’s why replay exists.Luka added his reaction, saying, “That was impressive. I’m not going to lie. I saw the video again, and I was like, ‘Oof.’ I wish I had those bunnies.”Draymond Green also added his thoughts on the dunk, saying, “[It was] absolutely incredible. He’s been attacking like that… Forget laying the ball up, go dunk. He’s been attacking like that all playoffs. That one was on Luka, so it means more. When you get a dunk on a superstar like that it means a little moreALLAS — Three down, one to go. Make your NBA Finals plans — this series is over. Dhe Warriors came out and played with intent from the get-go, and though there were some lulls along the way, they again proved to be the better team with a 109-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center.Golden State now leads the series three-games-to-none. Steph Curry continued to put on a show, putting up a 31-point double-double. He also dished 11 assists and made five 3-pointers. He now has made at least five 3-pointers in a record 53 playoff games. ndrew Wiggins had his first 20-10 playoff performance, and he on the floor for both sides.Klay Thompson scored 19 points, but continues to struggle with his 3-point shot.Mavs star Luka Doncic scored 40 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 26 off the bench, but Dallas got absolutely nothing out of Maxi Kleber and Reggie Bullock.Now, we head to Tuesday night’s Game 4 with the Warriors looking to end it with a sweep.Here are three takeaways from the Warriors being one win away from the NBA Finals.
Another Otto Porter Jr. Injury
After several straight possessions with a limp and a grimace, He had to come out with a left foot issue. With nine minutes remaining in the second quarter, Porter limped to the Warriors locker room with trainer Rick Celebreni. He didn’t return, and was ruled out for the night with left foot soreness early in the third quarter.Porter has been a key contributor off the bench for the Warriors all season long, especially in the playoffs. The King of Plus-Minus does the dirty work, gives the Warriors a rebounding presence and had one of the smoothest mid-range jump shots in the league. This also isn’t the first time he has dealt with an injury this postseason. The veteran forward missed the second half of the Warriors’ Game 5 loss last round to the Memphis Grizzlies with right foot soreness and was ruled out for their Game 6 win. In the first two games of the conference finals, Porter averaged 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, and was a combined plus-27