Warriors Overcome Rough 2nd Quarter, Beat Mavericks 133-103
After a disappointing loss to Memphis on Saturday, the Warriors knew they needed to come out and get a win against the Mavericks to regain some confidence. Going into the game, the Mavericks sat at 0-3, and the Warriors were 1-2. The Warriors were also waiting on a decision from the NBA about disciplining Stephen Curry. Steph threw his mouthguard in a moment of frustration against the Mavericks, and was ejected from the game. Many people on twitter and Monday’s sports talk shows, like FS1’s Nick Wright, thought that Steph should be suspended for this because it was not the first time he did it. I didn’t think it was such a big deal, and neither did the league. Instead of a suspension, Curry was fined $50,000 and was allowed to play against the Mavericks.
In the first quarter, the Warriors looked to put their early season sluggishness behind them. They came out hot, hitting 65% of their shots in the first quarter, with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant each scoring 8 points. The Warriors also hit 10/12 free throws in the first quarter with Stephen Curry accounting for seven of the ten that went in. The team was also aided with some scoring off the bench from rookie Jordan Bell (4 pts) and Nick Young (3 pts). The Warriors still turned the ball over four times in the opening quarter, and three came from Stephen Curry, which was a continuation of the sloppiness we witnessed in the Memphis game. Some notable stats from the first quarter came from Kevin Durant, who added one to his league lead in blocks, and avoided turning the ball over in the opening quarter. Durant had led the league in turnovers through three games. The Warriors led after the first quarter with a score of 40-24, it was their first 40-point quarter of the season.
Remember everything I wrote about how the Warriors played in the first quarter? The second quarter was essentially the opposite, they were incredibly sloppy, committing five turnovers and they also put the Mavericks in the bonus with nearly seven minutes left in the half. The Warriors got too trigger happy from the three point line and their offense got lazy. The team went 6-21 from the three-point line in the first half, Outside of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the team did not shoot the ball well. The problem with Klay being one of the leading shooters was that when the Warriors got lazy late in the quarter, it created less openings for Klay to spot up and shoot. The Warriors also gave guys like JJ Barea and Wesley Matthews too many open looks from three, which contributed in the Mavericks shooting 50% from deep in the half. All of the work that the Warriors did to build their lead in the first quarter was nullified by their sloppy play in the second quarter. One positive from the quarter was that Steph was able to keep getting to the free throw line, and had 10 free throws in the half, which helped make up for a 3-9 performance in the field. The Mavericks fought back to make it a three point game, and the score at halftime was 65-62.
The Warriors were clearly frustrated with how they finished the first half, and came out in the third quarter looking to build a lead again. At the end of the third quarter, four different Warriors were in the double digits with their scoring. Stephen Curry began to heat up, and raised his total to 29, and hit three more free-throws, to bring his streak to 37 consecutive free throws made. Kevin Durant began to heat up, and ended the quarter with 20 points. Draymond Green got to ten points and Klay Thompson raised his total to 16. Unfortunately, Draymond and Klay both had four fouls by the middle of the quarter, which caused Steve Kerr to sit them. The Warriors still struggled with turnovers, committing three more and bringing their total to 13. The third quarter ended with the Warriors leading 99-84.
The Warriors carried their momentum from the third into the fourth quarter, and would end up grabbing a 30 point win. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both made a couple more shots, bringing their totals to 35 and 21. The Warriors were essentially running down the clock for the majority of the quarter, but the last four minutes of garbage time were incredible to watch. The Warriors were running with a lineup that consisted of Pat McCaw, JaVale McGee, Nick Young, Omri Casspi, and Jordan Bell, and they had some nice, explosive plays. The highlight of the fourth quarter was Jordan Bell throwing himself a self-alley oop off the backboard in a real game (CLIP). Pat McCaw looked good in garbage time, but that was the only time he saw the court in the last two games, he was filling the role normally taken by Andre Iguodala, and did a good job at running the offense. Nick Young also caught fire in the fourth quarter, hitting three threes, one of which became a four-point play. The Warriors beat the Mavericks 133-103.
The Warriors still have yet to play a solid game for the whole time, appearing sloppy on both ends during points of all four games so far, but that is to be expected when the season starts a week earlier than normal, and the team just came back from China. I think I’m going to milk the China excuse as long as possible. Outside of the second quarter, the Warriors played a very good game, and yeah it was against the 0-4 Mavericks, but winning by 30 points even after playing a terrible quarter is a good sign of things to come. The Warriors did still turn the ball over 16 times, which is something the team will get better with as the offense becomes more fluid as the year goes on.
Notable performances from this win against the Mavericks came from Stephen Curry (29 pts, 8 ast), Kevin Durant (25 pts, 8 reb, 8 ast), Klay Thompson (21 pts), and Nick Young (13 pts). Draymond Green almost had a triple double as well, and he was seen late in the game coaching rookie Jordan Bell from the sidelines.
As a side note, I still do not understand why the Bulls let the Warriors buy the rights to Jordan Bell, and how no one overpaid Nick Young to keep him off of the Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors play their next game on Wednesday night at home against the Toronto Raptors at 7:30 p.m.