Andrew Wiggins Thrives in Game 1 Matchup Against Luka Doncic

The Golden State Warriors are up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals after blowing the Mavs out 112-87 on Wednesday night.

The win was partly due to Andrew Wiggins doing a solid job of defending and ultimately slowing Luka Doncic down. Wiggins thrived on guarding Doncic the full 94 feet at times while also using a box-and-one and mixing up zone looks to hold the three-time All-Star to 20 points on 6-18 shooting from the field, including shooting 3-10 from deep. Wiggins also forced Doncic to turn the ball over three times.

Wiggins’ efforts to shadow Doncic all 94 feet up the court did the job of wearing Doncic down and frustrating him.

“It’s a tactic obviously in terms of just making guys work,” Stephen Curry said per ESPN. “It’s just one more thing to think about. I wouldn’t say it bothers you, but something you can’t try to overcome. Wiggs is going to keep doing it, but it’s just one more thing to think about, and that’s good playoff basketball.”

For many players, guarding a superstar like Doncic with max effort would take away from their offensive production. Not Wiggins, who told reporters that the matchup didn’t make him tired after the final buzzer.

“I feel like I’m still young. I don’t really get too tired,” Wiggins said. “I’m locked in. I’m motivated, and when you see it work or I feel like it’s helping us play better, it just motivates me to do it more. I’m not tired or nothing. You know, it’s adrenaline. I just feel good.”

Holding Luka Legend below his average of 31.5 points in the playoffs is a confidence boost for the former No. 1 overall draft pick. Since arriving in Golden State, Maple Jordan had transformed into the two-way monster so many were expecting to see when Minnesota first drafted him, earning his first All-Star nod after averaging 17.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on 46.6 percent shooting from the field.

”I thought Wiggs was fantastic,” Coach Steve Kerr said. ”Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this League. — It’s important to make him work. He’s so good. Any great player in the League, you’re trying to limit the damage that they do.”

Wiggins scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and finished Game 1 with five rebounds and three dimes. All five Warriors starters scored in double-digits, including Jordan Poole (19 points) and Otto Porter Jr. (10 points, six rebounds).

The Dubs were able to outscore the Mavs, 58-42, in the second half. For the game, the Warriors held the Mavericks to 36.0 percent shooting from the field, 22.9 from distance. Golden State also scored 18 points off of 13 turnovers.

With Friday’s Game 2 looming, expect Dallas to make the necessary adjustments to tie the WCF at 1-1. Stealing home-court advantage as the series shifts to Dallas will be pivotal for a Mavericks team essentially playing with house money this deep into the playoffs.