The Golden State Warriors closed out the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals to take a commanding lead, and it was Andrew Wiggins putting the exclamation point on the win with a monster dunk over Luka Doncic that had Warriors fans and the rest of the NBA going wild.
After a tight battle through three quarters, the Warriors had taken a 91-83 lead nearly halfway through the fourth quarter when Wiggins drove from the three-point line and took flight, posterizing Doncic with a dunk that immediately went viral. Although the play was initially called an offensive foul, referees reviewed and determined that the dunk was clean — providing a convenient break in play and allowing for several replays of what ESPN’s Tory Barron called the “dunk of the postseason.”
In the immediate aftermath, Warriors fans and fellow NBA players took to Twitter to show their appreciation for Wiggins.
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Wiggins Goes Wild
Already in the midst of what is seen as the best season of his career — including the first All-Star bid of his nine-year career — Wiggins has found a second gear for the playoffs. In Game 3, Wiggins added what might be the highlight of his career with the aggressive dunk over Doncic.
Warriors fans went wild for the play, which helped push Golden State to the doorstep of their sixth trip to the NBA Finals in the last eight seasons.
A number of fellow NBA players also took to Twitter in amazement.
The dunk even caught the attention of another former Warriors player who put many a defender on a poster, the high-flying Baron Davis.
“Put that poster on the wall #Dubs,” he tweeted. “Say a prayer for the victim.”
Warriors teammate Klay Thompson said the play reminded him of one of the NBA’s most famous and ferocious dunkers.
“He’s looking like Dominique Wilkins out there,” Thompson said, via ESPN.
And even Doncic himself had to give Wiggins credit.
“I got hit a little bit, but that was impressive,” Doncic said. “I’m not going to lie. I saw the video again, and I was like, ‘Oh …’ That was pretty incredible. I wish had those bunnies.”
Wiggins Sets Career-High Mark
While the slam over Doncic may have been the most memorable two points of Wiggins’ career, the entire game was one for the record books. The Canadian wing scored a playoff career-high 27 points and matched his playoff career-high with 11 rebounds.
But it was the dunk that captured nearly all of the attention. After the game, Wiggins said he saw an opportunity and had to take it.
“Just feeling the energy,” Wiggins said when asked about how the play came together.
“That’s the main thing when I seen the rim. That’s all I seen. They tried to take it away from me,” he added before thanking Warriors head coach Steve Kerr for the challenge that overturned his offensive foul and allowed the dunk to stand.
For Wiggins, the play and the Game 3 performance almost never happened. He was initially listed as questionable for the game after spraining his ankle in Game 2. With the win on Sunday, the Warriors now have a chance to close out the series in Game 4 on Tuesday in Dallas.