Image Credit: @Warriors Twitter
On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Golden State Warriors as part of a two-game series at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks ended two losing streaks in Atlanta and will try to end another one as they try to stop a five game home losing streak. Make sure you vote to make Luka Doncic an All-Star as he currently has the second most votes among guards in the western conference, trailing only Stephen Curry. https://vote.nba.com/en?cid=nba:allstar21:institutional:nbacom:homehero:vote:global
On Wednesday, the Mavericks played the Atlanta Hawks as they hope to end their six game losing streak. After a game that was back-and-forth for three quarters, the Mavericks started to pull away from the Hawks at the start of the fourth quarter. The Hawks were able to make it a game late but the Mavericks were able to hold on for a 122-116 victory to end their six game losing streak. Luka Doncic scored 27 points and 14 assists in the Mavericks victory. Kristaps Porzingis also added 24 points but was crucial in the late moments as he tipped-in the ball in the hoop following a Luka Doncic miss with 32 seconds remaining. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 9-13 on the season. The Mavericks have now won three of the five games in the Doncic-Young rivalry. Tim Hardaway Jr had another big game with 22 points, including nailing five 3-pointers. The “Defensive Player of the Game Belt” belonged to Josh Richardson as he played tremendous defense during this game.
The Golden State Warriors are coming into this game by going 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 111-107 loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday that dropped their record to 11-10 on the season. The Warriors have faced a lot of adversity which included losing Klay Thompson for the season as a result of tearing his achillies before this season began. The Warriors couldn’t get back to the NBA finals last season as the injuries piled up with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson missing most or all season. As a result, the Warriors were granted with the second pick in the NBA draft and selected James Wiseman. The Warriors were hoping to come into this season healthy and make another deep run in the playoffs but that didn’t come into fruition with Klay Thompson being out for the season. Still the Warriors hope they can make another crack at it with the rest of the roster as they’re battling for a low seed in the western conference.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks swept the Golden State Warriors in the regular season series last season by going 3-0. The Mavericks have won four straight, after the Warriors won 19 of the previous 21 games. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 84-78.
The Mavericks started this game by having Kristaps Porzingis play in a back-to-back as they ramp up his workload. The first points of the game would belong to Luka Doncic as he hit a floating jump shot to get this game underway. Stephen Curry would hit a step-back three pointer to give the Warriors their first lead of the game at 5-2 in the early stages of the first quarter. The Warriors were playing this game “small” due to their enormous amount of injuries they suffered this season. Luka Doncic would hit a 3-point shot to regain the Mavericks lead at 8-5 as he would hit all the Mavericks points so far in the quarter. Draymond Green would covert on a “And-1” as he was fouled while making a thunderous slam and would convert on the free-throw to tie the game at 11-11. After the Mavericks came up empty on the possession, the Warriors took advantage by having Juan Toscano-Anderson make a 26-foot three pointer to retake the lead at 14-11. With the Mavericks playing sloppy on offense, Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 6:58 left in the quarter as the Mavericks found themselves trailing 16-11. This is absolute no excuses to why the Mavericks can’t come away with a win as the Warriors were playing with a lack of size as they had nobody above 6’7” that was active for this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis to hit a three pointer to end the Warriors 11-0 run. Jalen Brunson would drive to basket for an easy layup to tie the game back up at 16-16 but not before Kelly Oubre Jr would hit a three pointer to give the Warriors the lead again at 19-16. The Warriors would continue to knock down three pointers that would see their lead extended to 24-16. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks found themselves trailing 36-34 as this game goes to the second quarter. The Mavericks were allowing the Warriors take way too many three pointers which was one of the reasons the Mavericks found themselves trailing. This game would quickly turned into a battle of the “Tall boys vs Short boys” to see who would come out on top due to the extreme height differential between teams. The leading scorer in this game would belong to Stephen Curry as he scored 15 points. Luka Doncic would score 13 points as he would lead the Mavericks in scoring at the end of the quarter.
The Warriors started the second quarter cold as they came up empty on multiple possessions which allowed the Mavericks to comeback in this game to take the lead at 39-36 off of a Jalen Brunson 25-foot three pointer. The Warriors missed on their first eight attempts in the second quarter before Kelly Oubre Jr finally made one for the Warriors which was a 27-foot three pointer. While the Warriors were cold, the Mavericks couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity as they also came up empty on a couple of possessions. Damion Lee hit a 26-foot three pointer for the Warriors but Dorian Finney-Smith would answer for the Mavericks as he would make a three pointer of his own to extend their lead to 45-42. After a bad turnover by the Mavericks, the Warriors took advantage by having Juan Toscano-Anderson hit a three pointer to tie the game at 47-47 which forced Rick Carlisle to take a timeout with 6:41 left in the quarter. The Mavericks missed six of their eight shots they have taken in the quarter as they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity to take over this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Jalen Brunson as he would hit a 23-foot three pointer to keep the lead at 50-47. The Warriors were allowing the Mavericks “Big Men” to play at the top of key which allowed them to attack the paint and that’s exactly what Kelly Oubre Jr did while being fouled. He would then covert the “three-point play” by making the free-throw to give the Warriors a 53-52 lead. After a back-and-forth clash from both teams that featured them having a share of the lead, the Warriors would call timeout with 4:51 left in the quarter as Tim Hardaway Jr would hit a three pointer to give the Mavericks a 58-56 lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors turned to Andrew Wiggins but couldn’t convert which allowed Tim Hardaway Jr to hit another three pointer for the Mavericks to take a 61-56 lead. A quick 6-0 run by the Mavericks was ended by Andrew Wiggins driving to the basket while being fouled by Kristaps Porzingis. He would then hit the free-throw to finish off the “three point play” to make it 64-59. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks barley hold onto their lead by leading the Warriors 76-74 at the end of the quarter. The top leading scorer belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 23 points as the game approached halftime. The Mavericks problems with a lead would continue as every time they had some type of lead, they would allow the Warriors to comeback in the game. The Warriors leading scorer belong to Kelly Oubre Jr as he scored 22 points on eight of 13 shooting from the field as he and Stephen Curry were the only ones to score 20+ points for the Warriors. Shockingly the Warriors out-scored the Mavericks in points in the paint by out scoring them 26-16. With the Mavericks being the worst 3-point shooting in the NBA, the Mavericks were able to hit 15 of 29 for 51.7% at halftime. There was 59 three point attempts taken combined by both teams as this game was like a three-point shooting contest and it seem like the team that made the most three point attempts would win the game.
Coming out of the half, Draymond Green found Andrew Wiggins on a nice cut to the baskets to give the Warriors their first points in the third quarter and tie the game at 76-76. The Mavericks first points in the quarter would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he hit a three pointer to retake the lead for the Mavericks at 79-76. Following a Kristaps Porzingis miss, the Warriors took advantage of that by going to Kelly Oubre to hit a three pointer to give the Warriors a 81-79 lead. Kristaps Porzingis would start to heat up in the quarter as he hit back-to-back three pointers for the Mavericks to retake the lead at 85-83. The game would be tied at 85-85 but not before Draymond Green found a cutting Juan Toscano-Anderson for an easy layup that forced Rick Carlisle to take a timeout with the Warriors leading 87-85 with 7:36 left in the quarter. The Mavericks continued to shoot three pointers as they would hit three of their first four attempts taken in the quarter as they struggled getting points in the paint. The Warriors were getting all of their points so far in this quarter in the paint as they continued to attack the paint. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis to hit a free-line jumper to tie the game at 87-87. Finally the Mavericks decided to take advantage of the height difference of Kristaps Porzingis as he shot over a “short” Andrew Wiggins to once again tie the game at 89-89. The Warriors turned to Stephen Curry for some points as he would deliver by giving the Warriors a 95-91 lead. There was simply no defense being played in this one as the Warriors already hit the 100-point mark with 4:43 left in the quarter thanks to Kelly Oubre Jr hitting both of his free-throws. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 3:42 left in the quarter as the Mavericks couldn’t get things going on offense and as a result would trail 102-93. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson to hit a three pointer but couldn’t convert but were able to secure an offensive rebound and as a result found Luka Doncic for an easy floating jump shot. The Warriors continued to be aggressive in the paint by going to Damian Lee as he was fouled and was able to finish off the “three point play” by hitting the free-throw to give the Warriors their largest lead of the game at 107-95. The Warriors would go on a 15-3 run to end the quarter with a 110-96 lead. The Leading scorer after three quarters would belong to Kelly Oubre Jr as he scored 32 points for the Warriors. The Mavericks collapsed late in the quarter as the Warriors took advantage of the opportunity by being aggressive with the ball and having no mercy on these Mavericks. The Mavericks were simply outscored in the third quarter 36-20 as the offense went blank late. The Mavericks leading scorer through three quarters belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 25 points.
The Mavericks started this fourth quarter with a nice finish by James Johnson as he was able to slam it home but the Warriors would still lead 110-98. The Warriors would continue with their hot hand as they would hit two of their first three attempts taken in this fourth quarter as they remain in the drivers seat in this game. Brad Wanamaker would hit both of his free-throws for the Warriors to extend their lead to 116-101. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout as this game would start to get away from the Mavericks as they would trail 119-101 with 8:34 left in the game. The Mavericks struggled to start this quarter as they would only make two of their first five attempts taken. This is not the team to trail by 18 points against this dangerous and sneaky Warriors team as that’s exactly what the Mavericks were facing. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic but he was blocked by Andrew Wiggins. A 8-2 run by the Warriors would occur out of the timeout which forced Rick Carlisle to take another timeout with 6:28 left in the game trailing 124-103. The Warriors were simply having too much fun in this quarter as they were toying with the Mavericks. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he air-balled a floating jump shot which the Warriors took advantage by draining a three pointer to increase their lead to 130-103. The Warriors hit the 130-point mark and there was still 5:00 minutes left to play in the game while the Mavericks struggled breaking 100 points. Rick Carlisle waved the white flag with 5:35 left in the game as he would take his starters out for the reminder of the game.
This team looked like they didn’t want to win this game as they had multiple opportunities in this game to take over but simply refused every time. The Warriors were extremely short-handed in this game and took advantage of the Mavericks sloppiness and did what they could with the players they had left. The Mavericks didn’t want to take advantage of their extreme height advantage as the Warriors played “small ball” and it worked for them. The Mavericks just completely collapsed late in the third quarter as the Warriors were doing anything they want to do against the Mavericks. This was a bad loss on the Mavericks as they had everything in their favor and couldn’t deliver. This offense is too reliant on Luka Doncic as you simply cannot rely on him to score 40+ points every game. The Mavericks need to give Luka Doncic some tremendous help as it’s simply not fair for him to do all the work.
In the end, it was the Golden State Warriors destroying the Dallas Mavericks 147-116 in the blowout. The Mavericks record dropped to 9-14 on the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with 27 points on 6 rebounds and 6 assists. The Warriors were led by Kelly Oubre Jr as he finished the game with a career-high 40 points. The Warriors shot 57% from the field and 51% from three-point land. Kristaps Porzingis added 25 points on five of eight shooting from behind the arc. With the loss, the Mavericks have now lost six straight home games at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks have now lost seven of their last eight games. The Mavericks have some serious questions surrounding their team as they try to find a way to save their season. Remember, the Mavericks cannot afford to “tank” this season as the New York Knicks holds their first round pick as a part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The Mavericks have no choice but to fight for the reminder of the season to avoid their first round pick from being in the lottery for the New York Knicks. The Warriors’ 147 points are the most by a Mavericks opponent in a regulation game in team history.
These two teams will go at one more time on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in the final matchup in the first half of the season.