GAME 1: DALLAS MAVERICKS (0-0) at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (0-0)
Time: 8 p.m., Wednesday.
Place: Chase Center, San Francisco.
Radio: The Eagle 97.1 FM; Univision Zona MX 99.1 FM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: They have been very solid on the road in the playoffs, going 3-4 overall (2-1 at Utah, 1-3 at Phoenix). They will need at least one win at Chase Center to get to the NBA Finals . . . They won three of four regular-season meetings with Golden State, but that will do them no good in this series . . . Luka Dončić has been nothing short of spectacular in the playoffs, averaging 31.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. He hasn’t scored below 24 points in any of the 10 playoff games he’s played and the Mavericks are plus-91 when he has been on the court . . . In spite of the heavy scoring load on Dončić, the Mavericks have six players averaging in double figures in the playoffs. Joining Dončić in that group are Jalen Brunson (22.9 points), Spencer Dinwiddie (13.2), Dorian Finney-Smith (11.6), Reggie Bullock (10.2) and Maxi Kleber (10.1) . . . Brunson’s run in the playoffs has been the biggest surprise as he has consistently been Luka’s sidekick and helped the Mavericks to two wins in the three games that Dončić missed against Utah. In the final five games against Phoenix, when the Mavericks went 4-1, they were plus-57 when Brunson was on the floor . . . The Mavericks have been to the Western Conference finals four times previously and they are 2-2 in those series. In the Dirk Nowitzki era, they beat Phoenix in 2006 and Oklahoma City in 2011 to reach the NBA Finals, and they lost the conference finals in 2003 to San Antonio. The Mavericks also reached the conference finals in 1988 behind Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre and Derek Harper, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers . . . Coach Jason Kidd now is now 8-5 this year in the playoffs and is closing in on .500 for his career (17-20 overall). This is the furthest he’s gotten in the postseason. He made the second round once with Brooklyn.
About the Warriors: They will have home-court advantage, but coach Steve Kerr knows that’s not a cure-all. He acknowledged winning the opening two games at Chase Center would be nice. But it’s not a guarantee of anything. “We’ve sort of seen it all,” he said. “We’ve won Game 7’s on the road and we lost it one time. Phoenix did it (started 2-0 at home) and then lost four of the next five. In the end, you’re probably going to have to win a game on the road.” The Warriors, by the way, have done that in 25 consecutive series, an NBA record that started in 2013. That also means the Mavericks may have to win twice at Golden State. They did that against Utah, but only took Game 7 against the Suns at their place . . . Steph Curry is probably the best shooter in NBA history and gets many of his shots off of movement and picks. He’s also much like Luka in that he can make a lot of difficult, contested shots. He’s averaged 26.9 points, 5.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds in the playoffs. He’s taking 10.6 3-pointers per game in the postseason and making 36 percent of them . . . And Curry has loads of help with Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole combining to average nearly 40 points per game. And don’t sleep on Andrew Wiggins, who was an All-Star starter this season (ahead of some dude named Luka, if memory serves). Wiggins has averaged 14.6 points and shot 40 percent from 3-point land in the playoffs . . . If you are a fan of point differential, here are the numbers for the Warriors: They were a plus-5.5 points during the regular season and a plus-4.0 points in the playoffs, although that includes a 39-point blowout in Game 5 against Memphis. The Mavericks, meanwhile, were plus-3.3 points per game in the regular season and have been plus-4.4 points in the postseason.