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Klay Thompson guides Warriors past Mavericks, into NBA Finals

Klay Thompson guides Warriors past Mavericks, into NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (L) made 12 of 25 shots from the field and 8 of 16 attempts from 3-point range in a win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Thursday at Chase Center in San Francisco. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

May 27 (UPI) -- Sharpshooter Klay Thompson made eight 3-pointers en route to a game-high 32 points to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Dallas Mavericks and into the 2022 NBA Finals.

The Warriors shot 51.1% as a team and totaled 36 assists in the 120-110 Game 5 win Thursday at Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors won the best-of-seven game series 4-1.

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"I'm proud of not only my effort, but our whole team," Thompson told reporters. "We really gelled this year at the right time and we have exciting times ahead of us."

The Warriors will make their sixth NBA Finals appearance in the past eight seasons.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who scored 15 points in Game 5, received the first-ever Magic Johnson Award, given to the Western Conference finals MVP. He averaged 23.8 points for the series.

"We never lost the faith, but we understood how hard it was going to be to climb that mountain again," Curry said. "To do it with with guys that are amazing at buying into their roles, but hadn't been on this stage before, it's just amazing to see them blossom."

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The Warriors will face the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat next week in the NBA Finals. The Celtics have a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

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The Warriors outscored the Mavericks 50-32 in the paint, 10-9 off fast breaks, 16-7 off turnovers and led by as many as 25 points in their series finale. They never trailed.

They started the game on a 9-2 run and took a 28-23 lead into the second quarter. They outscored the Mavericks 41-29 over the next 12 minutes to carry a 69-52 lead into halftime.

Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic then scored 22 of his team-high 28 points in the third. The Mavericks cut the deficit to 94-84 to start the fourth.

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The Warriors started the final frame on a 9-2 run. The Mavericks answered with their own 8-2 run, but couldn't complete the rally over the final 12 minutes.

Warriors forwards Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green chipped in 18 and 17 points, respectively, in the victory. Center Kevon Looney totaled 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Western Conference champions.

Veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points, with five 3-pointers, off the Mavericks bench.

"I'm really proud of this team, everybody, every player, every staff member," Doncic said. "Nobody had us here. But I promise we fought until the end."

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The Celtics host the Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at 8:30 p.m. EDT Friday at TD Garden in Boston. Game 7 of that series, if necessary, will be Sunday in Miami.

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