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Basketball Daily Dose

Klay Thompson's two-year nightmare is over

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: May 27, 2022, 8:44 am ET

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The Western Conference Finals are over and the Warriors will represent the West in the NBA Finals after taking out the Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 on Thursday night. The Celtics are in line to put away the Heat tonight in a battle of attrition and will look to represent the East as the two banged-up teams will meet on Friday night.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting and hit 8-of-16 3-pointers with two rebounds, three assists, a steal and just one turnover. His fantasy line wasn’t all that packed with goodies, but he came through in a big way in DFS with the points and 3-pointers. He scored 19 in the first half and the Warriors held a 17-point halftime lead that they never relinquished. Golden State got a balanced attack, as all five starters scored in double figures and Jordan Poole went off for 16 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 6-of-8 shooting in 28 minutes off the bench. Andrew Wiggins bounced back with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Draymond Green exploded for 17 points, six rebounds, nine assists, a block and a 3-pointer on 6-of-7 shooting, and Stephen Curry hit just 5-of-17 shots and two 3-pointers for 15 points, nine assists, two steals and one block in the relatively easy win. Had Curry’s shots been falling this game would have been a true blowout instead of the Warriors graciously allowing the Mavs to hang around in the second half. Despite Curry’s struggles on Thursday, he was named the series MVP. Kevon Looney went off for 10 points and 18 rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting against the center-less Mavs. Jonathan Kuminga, who played 22 minutes and had 17 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday’s Game 4, played just two minutes with no stats in Game 5. If you rolled with him in DFS like I did last night, things probably didn’t go well for you. Otto Porter was out for a second straight game with a left foot injury, allowing Moses Moody to get loose for seven points and a 3-pointer, almost all of which came in the decisive second quarter for the Dubs.

The Warriors will return to the Finals for the sixth time in the last eight seasons and Thompson, who is finally back from a two-year absence due to ACL and Achilles injuries, was emotional after his big game. “It’s hard to put into words really,” he said. “This time last year I was just starting to jog again and get up and down the court. Now to be feeling like myself, feeling explosive, feeling sure of my movements, I’m just grateful.” The Warriors look poised to win another championship now that Thompson (and mostly everyone else) is healthy. Golden State joins the 90’s Bulls, the 80’s Lakers and the 50’s-60’s Celtics to become the only franchises to make it to the NBA Finals six times in an eight-year span. The Warriors will hold the home-court advantage against the Celtics or Heat in the Finals and they’re an undefeated 9-0 at home this postseason, tying their 2017 team for the most consecutive home wins in a single NBA postseason.

The Mavericks got 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a steal from Luka Doncic but the Dallas star hit just 10-of-28 shots and missed 10 3-pointers on the night. Spencer Dinwiddie went off for 26 points, four assists, two blocks and five 3-pointers on 7-of-12 shooting, Dorian Finney-Smith hit 6-of-10 shots and a 3-pointer for 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, and Jalen Brunson scored 10 points with four assists, but hit just 3-of-10 shots on the night. That was it for Dallas. Doncic is surrounded by second-round picks and a total lack of big men and Mavericks fans are hoping that Mark Cuban and company will step up in the off-season and get Luka some big-man help for next season. Maxi Kleber (seven points, eight rebounds) and Dwight Powell (three points in seven minutes) just aren’t going to cut it. I still don’t know how they beat the Suns in the previous round, but it helped that Dallas was making shots and the Suns weren’t in that series. Jason Kidd hinted that Cuban and the Mavs would get Luka some help going forward. “I think he carries the load as well as anyone and I think for us as an organization, we’ll help lighten that load as we go forward,” Kidd said.  

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Friday night will feature the Celtics hosting the Heat and both teams are banged up. The Celtics won convincingly in Wednesday’s Game 5 at Miami and appear to be poised to put the Heat away in Boston tonight. Everyone who played for the Heat is expected to be available tonight, although Kyle Lowry and Max Strus are listed as questionable. Tyler Herro (groin) is also listed as questionable, but I won’t be surprised if he sits out again tonight. Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson should all have a nice role again tonight, especially if Herro is out. Strus and Lowry will try to get off the snide after hitting just a combined 1-of-30 shots over their last two games. And if I’m the Heat, I’m benching Lowry for Vincent and starting Robinson over Strus, but what do I know?

Robert Williams (left knee) is questionable for the Celtics tonight, but I think he’ll play. Marcus Smart, who sat out Game 4 and struggled in Game five with his sprained right ankle, will also likely play tonight. If Williams and/or Smart can’t go, Grant Williams, Al Horford and Derrick White will all get more minutes tonight. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both banged up but should both be ready to go and have big games for the home team.

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for NBC Sports Edge and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-21 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for NBC Sports. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.