Warriors bury Mavericks with Spectacular Shooting, Win 112-97
After beating the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, the Golden State Warriors (22-6) had a two-day break before facing Dallas Mavericks (8-20). The Warriors would again be without three starters in Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Zaza Pachulia. The Warriors would also be without Nick Young after he got a concussion on Monday. This was also the first time the Warriors played against the Mavericks since Jordan Bell threw himself an alley-oop off the backboard, and only time would tell to see if the Mavericks would retaliate. The Warriors went on to win the game 112-97.
In the first quarter, the Warriors played extremely sloppy basketball. They turned the ball over seven times and committed more offensive fouls than I thought were possible. Kevin Durant was doing his best to carry the load on offense with 12 points on 5-8 shooting. As a team, the Warriors shot 61%, but were unable to run their offense due to their sloppiness, and whenever they seemed to get a play to work, they would commit an offensive foul. The Mavericks also shot the ball extremely well, at 60%, but only turned the ball over twice. J.J. Barea led the Mavs in scoring with 8 points on 3-3 shooting. The Mavericks led the Warriors 28-24.
The Mavericks were in control for most of the second quarter until Kevin Durant re-entered the game, but then the Warriors were able to pick up the pace and tie the game. At halftime, the Warriors were still shooting very well at 55%, while the Mavericks slowed to a far more pedestrian 47.6%. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 17 points, and it felt like he was making everything. The Warriors only turned the ball over three times in the second quarter, but the Mavericks still were not turning the ball over. A curious thing in the first half was that the Warriors only took eight threes in the half, while the Mavericks took 17. Now, the game was being broadcast on TNT, so I assume the lack of threes was intentional because they want to prove that they can make turn-around mid-range jumpers just as well as players did in the 90’s. At halftime, the game was tied at 48 points.
In the third quarter, Kevin Durant exploded. He continued scoring at will, and it was incredible, from throwing down dunks, to hitting threes from Steph range. He had 15 points in the quarter to bring his total to 32 points. The Warriors’ starters were basically the entire offense, with the bench combining for six points through three quarters, all from David West and Quinn Cook. As a team, the Warriors shot 60%, while the Mavericks continued to plummet, and finished the third quarter at 42.9%. The Warriors did turn the ball over six times in the quarter, but were able to offset that with KD’s incredible scoring. Omri Casspi was the second-highest scoring Warrior with 15 points. Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes led the Mavs in scoring with 16 points each. After three quarters, the Warriors led 80-73.
The fourth quarter saw Klay Thompson explode after watching KD explode in the third. He started the quarter hitting four straight threes, and finished the game with 25 points. The bench picked up the slack towards the end of the game, and ended up with more than six total points. David West led the bench and finished the game with nine points. Omri Casspi played an incredible game from start to finish, and went 7/9 with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Warriors ran out the clock for basically the entire fourth quarter, and they went on to win 112-97.
This stretch of games has been incredibly important for the Warriors bench. With guys like Steph and Draymond out, it allows guys like Omri Casspi to get more comfortable with the system and get some momentum going, as we saw he did tonight with 17 points. Over this stretch we have seen guys like David West and Nick Young also put up big numbers, which will give Steve Kerr a good idea of who to use more down the stretch and into the playoffs. Also, the Warriors are undefeated since Jim Barnett started wearing JaVale McGee’s chain.
The scoring leader for the game was Kevin Durant, who finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 blocks. Klay Thompson was close behind with 25 points and 5 assists. OmrI Casspi was next with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and no other Warrior had more than nine points. The Mavericks were lead in scoring by Dirk Nowitzki with 18 points, and four other Mavs had double-digit scoring numbers.
The Warriors stretched their winning streak to eight games, and they shot the ball exceptionally well while doing so. Tonight, they shot a combined 60.3% from the field, and 50% from deep. Shooting this well without Steph is incredible, and a true testament to the Warriors’ depth, which is unmatched in the NBA.
The Warriors play next on Monday, December 18, in Los Angeles against the Lakers at 7:30 p.m.