For the second straight game, a meltdown in the third quarter played a huge role in the Dallas Mavericks losing a playoff game to the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors outscored the Mavs, 30-21, in the third quarter Sunday night, and then went to defeat Dallas by nine points – 109-100 – to take a commanding 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series. This comes one game after the Warriors outscored the Mavs, 25-13, in the third quarter of their 126-117 victory in Game 2.

“They’re a third quarter team,” said guard Jalen Brunson, who scored 20 points. “I said that last time. That’s when they take off.”

And because the Warriors used the third quarter as a springboard to take off, they now have complete control of this series.

“They’re a team of runs,” coach Jason Kidd said. “They went on a run, and again, we gave up 30 points in that third. Just understanding you can’t give them second opportunities.

“When you give them second opportunities, Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry) and (Andrew) Wiggins — Wiggins is playing at a high level for them. They’ve been here before, so they understand what they have to do, and they did it tonight.”

In the third quarter the Mavs were just 7-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-9 from three-point territory. Outside of Luka Doncic going 3-of-4 from the field with 10 third-quarter points, the rest of the Mavs were just 4-of-14 from the field with only 11 points in the third quarter.

By contrast, the Warriors converted 10 of their 19 shots in the third quarter, with Curry collected 11 points and four assists in that quarter. The Warriors also outrebounded the Mavs in the third quarter, 12-5, which was a source of aggravation for Dallas all night long.

The Mavs lost the rebounding battle, 47-33, including 14-7 on the offensive end of the floor. That directly led to the Warriors outscoring them in second-chance points, 18-4.

“I mean, they’ve won championships,” said Spencer Dinwiddie, who tallied 26 points off the bench. “They’ve played at a high level for a long time. They’re known to do that, to your point.

“We didn’t necessarily respond. That’s why you had the swing in momentum.”

This also is the second game in a row where Doncic tallied at least 40 points – he scored 42 in Game 2 – and the Mavs failed to come out with a victory.

“We just didn’t shoot the ball well,” Kidd said. “Reggie (Bullock) is 0-for-10, Dorian (Finney-Smith) is 3-for-7. When you look at the three guys who scored, Spencer, LD and JB, that’s just not enough against the Warriors. You need a lot more guys to participate offensively.

“But we’re getting good looks, and they’re just not dropping. Again, I’ve said this — jump-shooting teams — we’re going to live and die by the three. But we’re also dying by not getting the rebound and giving them second-chance opportunities.”

NO HANGOVER: Coach Jason Kidd said he doesn’t think his team had a hangover from blowing a 19-point lead and losing Game 2 ib a game that Mavs felt they should have won.

“No, I didn’t think there was any hangover,” Kidd said. “We got great looks. The ball went in and out, no different than in Game 2. The ball just didn’t fall for us, and that happens in the game of basketball or any sport.

“Sometimes the ball falls for you, sometimes it doesn’t. We got great looks. Again, it’s a 10-point game, it’s an 8-point game, and we just couldn’t get over the hump. You’ve got to give the Warriors credit for that.”

COME DOWN FROM COMEBACK OVER SUNS: The Mavs started their series against the Warriors three days after rallying from a 3-2 deficit to dramatically win the second-round series against the Phoenix Suns in seven games. That includes winning  Game 7 in Phoenix in a game the Mavs once led by as many as 46 points.

So, did the Mavs have enough time to come down off that high before tackling the Warriors?

“I mean, yeah it was, I think, an unbelievable win,” Luka Doncic said, referring to Mavs-Suns Game 7. “Like I say, nobody had us being here in these (Western) Conference Finals. But I don’t know, man, I think the Warriors are playing incredible.

“Everybody knows their role, everybody just stays together. They’re a long-built team. They’ve been together for a long time, and I think they’re playing good basketball. So that’s what I think is going to be really difficult, and these past three games it’s been very difficult.”

BRIEFLY: The NBA fined the Mavs $100,000 Sunday because they said they have continued to violate league rules regarding team bench decorum. The league said on multiple occasions several players and a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period of time in the Mavs’ team bench area and were on or encroaching upon the court while Game 2 was in progress. Earlier in the playoffs, the Mavs were fined $25,000 and then $50,000 for these same infractions. “It’s the league’s decision to fine, but we’re not going to sit,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We’re going to cheer. If that’s, I think a positive, is that the bench can look at it as they’re donating to a nice charity, which is rare. So that’s cool, right, that money goes to a charity. So for standing, if we get fined, it goes to charity. So it’s a positive, someone wins. I haven’t talked to the league. I’ve got bigger things basketball related. That’s not basketball related. That’s just finding things to complain about. We’re not a complaining organization. You haven’t heard us complain when we lose. We just play basketball.”. .Warriors coach Steve Kerr used his coach’s challenge to challenge an offensive foul charged to Andrew Wiggins when he dunked over Luka Doncic. Kerr won the challenge, so instead of the score being 91-83 Warriors with 6:38 left in the game, the Mavs were down 93-83. “I mean, I got hit a little bit, but that was impressive, I’m not going to lie,” Doncic said the dunk. “I saw the video again, I was like, ooh. That was pretty incredible. I wish I had those bunnies.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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