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Klay Thompson: Andrew Wiggins Showed Why He's No. 1 Pick with Defense on Luka Doncic

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2022

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors hounded Luka Doncic in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, limiting him to 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting in a 112-87 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks.

Andrew Wiggins served as Doncic's primary defender for most of the game, earning praise from his teammates afterward.

"He was moving them puppies tonight," Klay Thompson told reporters. "That's why he was the No. 1 pick. You can't teach that athleticism. You can't teach that length. You can't teach his timing. I'm just happy the world is getting to see who he really is, and that's an incredible wing player, and he will be like this for the next 10 years."

Doncic shot 5-of-11 and turned the ball over three times when defended by Wiggins, who regularly picked the Mavericks guard up full court and harassed him as he brought the ball up the floor.

"I feel like I'm still young. I don't really get too tired," the 27-year-old Wiggins said. "I'm locked in. I'm motivated, and when you see it work or I feel like it's helping us play better, it just motivates me to do it more. I'm not tired or nothing. You know, it's adrenaline. I just feel good."

Wiggins also added 19 points and matched Stephen Curry with a team-high three three-pointers. While his NBA career won't ever match the "Maple Jordan" hype he had coming out of high school, Wiggins has increasingly found his niche in Golden State. He's learned to be a committed defender, shot a career-high 39.3 percent from three during the regular season and seemingly relishes in allowing the spotlight to be on others.

In games where he's fully engaged like Wednesday night, Wiggins can look like the Warriors' second- or third-best player.

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