Jason Kidd: Mavericks 'Died' in 3rd Quarter of Game 2 vs. Warriors Due to 3s

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 21, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 20: Head Coach Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks talks to the media after the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals on May 20, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd lamented his team's third-quarter performance in a 126-117 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Friday night.

Kidd specifically took issue with the Mavs' shot selection in the third, telling reporters: "When you go 2-for-13 and you rely on the three, you can die by the three. And we died in the third quarter by shooting that many threes and coming up with only two."

To Kidd's point, the Mavericks owned a 14-point lead at halftime, but the Warriors outscored them 25-13 in the third quarter, which set the wheels in motion for Golden State's comeback win.

Now, the Dubs own a 2-0 series lead and have the Mavericks on the ropes as the series heads to Dallas.

While the three-ball helped Dallas build a big lead in the first half, it went away in the second half, which opened the door for Golden State to claw its way back into the game.

Overall, the Mavericks went 21-of-45 from beyond the arc, shooting a strong 46.7 percent. Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, ESPN Stats & Info found that the 21 made trifectas were tied for the third most by a team in a playoff loss in NBA history.

The fact that Dallas shot the ball so well from long range in the end despite going 2-for-13 in the third quarter speaks to how deadly they were in that regard in the first half.

Remarkably, four of the Mavs' five starters made three or more three-point field goals each during the game and shot the ball 50 percent or better from deep.

Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith combined to go 19-of-33 from three-point land.

The issue for Dallas was the fact that its bench players combined to make just two of their 12 tries from distance.

Golden State is the team usually known for three-point-shooting excellence, and while it only attempted 28 threes in the game, its efficiency was on point in making half of them.

Stephen Curry led the way for the Dubs with 32 points, including six trifectas on 10 attempts, but the surprise star of the game was center Kevon Looney, who ate up the Mavs in the paint with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

As for the Mavs, they squandered a remarkable showing from Doncic, who scored a game-high 42 points to go along with eight assists, five rebounds and three steals.

Doncic seemed to agree with Kidd's assessment after the game, stressing the importance of getting to the basket rather than settling for threes: "We weren't attacking the paint that much. But we got to attack the paint more, like they did. They attacked the paint a lot. They have two of the best shooters in the world, and they still attack the paint. So I think we've got to rely less on the three."

Luka did much of his damage from the charity stripe, going 13-of-15 from the free-throw line, illustrating the importance of getting in the paint.

Given that fact and Kidd's frustration with how things went down in the third quarter in Game 2, the Mavs may have a far different game plan for Sunday's Game 3.