SAN FRANCISCO — The Dallas Mavericks 100th game of the 2021-2022 season was their last.
Led by the Klay Thompson revival, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Mavs in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, 120-110.
The Warriors win the series and advance to their sixth NBA Finals since 2015.
Thompson erupted for 19 points in the first half and finished with 32 (8-16 3PT) including the dagger three-pointer to put the game away.
Mavs superstar Luka Doncic is now 3-3 in elimination games. He averaged 36 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the previous five elimination games in his career.
Doncic finished Game 5 with 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
He struggled shooting for the majority of the game (10-28, 36% FG) but found his mojo in the third quarter, along with the rest of the Mavs.
Dallas mounted a 15-2 run to end the third quarter, which put them within 10 points entering the fourth.
But, the Mavs ran out of gas in the final frame as the Warriors got critical offensive rebounds and second-chance buckets down the stretch.
It was a fitting end to the Mavericks season as it exposed the team’s biggest weakness — a dominant post presence.
Mavs guard Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 26 points (5-7 3PT) off the bench.
Despite a relatively quiet night from Klay’s Splash Brothers co-star Stephen Curry (15 points), Golden State marched to victory on its home floor thanks to a collective effort as six players finished in double figures.
Warriors bench player Nemanja Bjelica also gave them big minutes on offense and defense in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks impressive, ahead-of-schedule season came to an end in San Francisco on Thursday night.
But, optimism for the years ahead is alive and well.
The Mavs proved to their fans and themselves that they can contend with the league’s best. The whole league took notice of what they did in Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns — the NBA’s only 60-win team this year.
But, the Mavericks have work to do. And everyone knows it.
A critical offseason lies ahead.
When the Mavs front office properly adds the necessary talent around Doncic, a Western Conference Finals appearance will not be a surprise — but an expectation.