Image Credit: @MavsPr Twitter
On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Golden State Warriors in their final game of this two-game series. After a season that was filled with hope and promises, it has been filled with disappointment after disappointment so far. The Mavericks currently have the second-worst record in the western conference and unless something drastic changes, that’s where they are headed. The Mavericks will start to begin welcoming fans on Monday at American Airlines Center. Up to 1500 vaccinated essential workers can attend each of the next four home games.
On Thursday, these teams played each other in game one of this two-game series. The Mavericks were leading 76-74 at halftime before things would quickly collapse in the second half. The Warriors took over this game that featured Kelly Oubre Jr scoring a career-high 40 points, Stephen Curry had 28 points as they destroyed the Mavericks to a 147-116 victory. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 27 points, while Kristaps Porzingis scored 25. Tim Hardaway Jr added 19 and Jalen Brunson had 18 points off the bench. The 147 points were the most points the Mavericks allowed in a regulation game in franchise history. With the loss, the Mavericks dropped to 9-14 on the season as the struggles continue.
The Golden State Warriors are coming into this game after routing the Mavericks the previous game. The Warriors are now 6-4 in their last 10 games. With the win over the Mavericks, their record would improve to 12-10 on the season which is good enough for seventh in the western conference as the first half come to a close.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks swept the Warriors 3-0 during the regular season series last season. The Mavericks have won four of their last five games against the Warriors. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series lead at 84-79
The Mavericks started this game with the exact same lineup that features Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith in the starting five. The first points of the game would belong Luka Doncic as he made a layup while being fouled, he would then finish off the “three point play” by making the free-throw to get this game underway. The Warriors started this game by coming up empty on multiple possessions until Andrew Wiggins made a jump shot to get the Warriors on the board. The Mavericks started this game by going on a 10-2 run in a much needed tremendous start to begin this game. The Warriors had missed four of their five attempts taken in the early stages of the first quarter as they couldn’t afford to buy a basket. The Mavericks run eventually ended up being a 12-2 run as Warriors coach Steve Kerr called a timeout with 9:02 left in the quarter as the Mavericks led 12-2. It appeared that the Mavericks have finally woken up to play but don’t get your hopes up as there is still three quarters remaining and the Warriors are always dangerous at any point in the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors turned to Stephen Curry but an offensive foul would be called on Andrew Wiggins to ruin the possession for the Warriors. Dorian Finney-Smith would hit a three pointer to increase their Mavericks lead to 15-2 as this tremendous start continues. There was 5:00 minutes taken off the clock and the Warriors still had only two points in the game as that’s how the game was going for them. As always, the Warriors turned to Stephen Curry as he made a three point shot while being fouled and would complete the rare “four point play” to trim the lead to 18-6. The Warriors were 2-12 shooting midway through the first quarter as they couldn’t nail anything in the game so far. A poor defensive possession by the Mavericks would occur as they couldn’t rebound the ball off a free-throw miss which allowed Stephen Curry to get an easy layup to make it 18-9. Rick Carlisle would see the Mavericks getting sloppy as he would call a timeout with 5:16 left in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Maxi Kleber but he was blocked by Draymond Green as the Warriors would hit a three pointer on the other end. A quick 5-0 run by the Warriors would occur as they were able to trim the lead to 23-17. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain onto their lead as they took a 35-31 lead into the second quarter. The leading scorer in the game would belong to Kent Bazemore as he scored 12 points on a perfect four of four shooting for the Warriors. The Mavericks started this quarter hot but cooled in the end as they shot 50% on 11 of 22 shooting. The Warriors mostly relied on their three point shooting with their shooting in the paint was not working as they shot 45.5% on five of 11 shooting from behind the arc. The Mavericks almost saw their 16 point lead evaporate as the Warriors were starting to storm back to tie it. The leading scorer for the Mavericks would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 11 points on three of five shooting from the field.
The Warriors started the second quarter by going to Andrew Wiggins but couldn’t convert. The Mavericks were able to get their first field goal in the second quarter by having Dwight Powell making a tip-in shot to increase their lead to 37-31. The Mavericks were getting some good looks in the quarter but the ball was refusing to go in the hoop. The Mavericks better be careful as they don’t want to let the Warriors go on a long run that would ultimately result in them losing the lead. A technical foul would be called on Juan Toscano-Anderson for arguing with the officials and as a result Luka Doncic was able to hit the technical free-throw to make it 41-33 with 9:20 left in the quarter. The Warriors were struggling to make some shots so the next best thing was to try to head to the free-throw line to get some easy points and that’s exactly what Brad Wanamaker would do but would only convert on one free-throw to make it 45-39. Again, the Mavericks had a chance to runaway with this game but couldn’t make it happen as they would come up empty on some possessions. The Warriors would call a timeout with 6:55 left in the quarter as they trailed 49-39 in the second quarter. The Mavericks should’ve had a 20 point lead on these Warriors but the fact that it was only a 10 point lead that would be a huge win for the Warriors to keep it a game. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors turned to Kent Bazemore as he would nail a two-point jump shot to trim it to 49-41. The Mavericks quickly increased it back to a 10 point lead as a result of a tip-in shot by Dorian Finney-Smith to make it 51-41. The Warriors were slowly but surely catching up to the Mavericks as they were able to trim their deficit to four points midway through the second quarter. Luka Doncic would turn the ball with 3:59 left in the quarter as the Warriors had a chance to make it a two point game but couldn’t as they themselves would turn the ball over. The Mavericks couldn’t stop Stephen Curry as he would drain a three pointer to make it a four point game. Rick Carlisle would use one of his timeouts on a “coach’s challenge” as he wanted the officials to review an out of bounds play that the officials ruled that it was Warriors basketball. After the review, the officials would overturn the call to give the ball to the Mavericks as Rick Carlisle successfully won the challenge with 2:42 left in the quarter. Coming out of the challenge, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson but couldn’t make the 25-foot three pointer. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain their lead as they took a 72-64 lead at halftime. Stephen Curry had an unbelievable second quarter as he scored 20 points in the quarter to give him 30 points overall. The Mavericks allowed Stephen Curry to take 10 three pointers, making seven of them that would equal to 21 points off three pointers. Luka Doncic was able to end the quarter by having 21 points in the game on six of 11 shooting. The Warriors shot an amazing 45.5% from behind the arc by drilling 10 of 22. They also overtook the Mavericks in shooting percentage as the Warriors shot 50% compared to the Mavericks 48.9%. The Mavericks better lookout before the Warriors ultimately overtake the lead at some point in the game.
Coming out of the half, Andrew Wiggins would drill a 18-foot step back jump shot to make it 72-66 as the Mavericks lead continues to shrink. Luka Doncic would convert on back-to-back possessions for the Mavericks to extend the lead to 80-69 as Doncic started to heat up in the third quarter. Both teams were having a three point shooting party in this quarter as both of drilled three of them already in the early stages of the quarter. Stephen Curry had another chance a “four point play” as he was fouled shooting a three but luckily it didn’t fall in but he would convert on all three free-throws to make it a 83-80. Kristaps Porzingis would drive to the basket and make the shot as he was fouled and would then complete the “three point play” by nailing the free-throw to keep the Mavericks in front 86-80. The hot shooting would continue for Stephen Curry as he drilled a long three pointer to trim the deficit to one as the Mavericks were now clinging onto a 86-85 lead. Rick Carlisle would call timeout with 7:34 left in the quarter as a result of Stephen Curry shooting (and making) ridiculous threes as the Mavericks lead is almost evaporated. It don’t matter how you guarded Stephen Curry, he was going to make it regardless as he had 41 points and there was still another quarter left in this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was fouled on a shooting attempt and as result would hit both of his free-throws to make it 88-85. The Warriors would finally catch up to the Mavericks and tied the game at 88-88 by having Juan Toscano-Anderson slam dunk it with 6:43 left in the quarter. Luka Doncic quickly untied the game by drilling two of the three free-throws for a 90-88 lead. Off a Warriors turnover, Luka Doncic found a cutting Dorian Finney-Smith for an easy layup to increase their lead to 92-88 as the Warriors were caught sleeping. The Warriors would call a timeout with 5:14 left in the third quarter as the Warriors needed a breather. This game quickly turned into a shooting match as both teams started to catch fire but the Mavericks were able to prevent the Warriors from taking a lead in this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors once again turned to Stephen Curry as he was able to make a two-point shot to trim the Mavericks lead to five. There seemed to be no fire extinguisher in the arena as the Mavericks clearly needed to use it to cool off Stephen Curry as he drilled another three pointer to make it a two point game. The Warriors finally took their first lead of the game by having Andrew Wiggins drill a 23-foot three point jumper to give them a 96-95 lead with 4:11 left in the quarter. The Mavericks regained the lead by having Maxi Kleber drain both of his free-throws to make it 97-96. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to end the quarter, taking a 106-101 lead into the fourth. Boy we used to love it when a “Curry” made three pointers but not this season as they aren’t on the roster. The Warriors again relied on their three-point shooting as that helped them stay in this game as they had made 0 of them through three quarters of play. Stephen Curry decided to take over this game as he already had 46 points on 10 of 17 shooting from behind the arc and there’s still another quarter to play. Luka Doncic had 31 points on eight of 15 shooting from the field as this game approached the fourth quarter. Both teams scored 100+ points as this game was insane. The Mavericks defense needs to drastically step up in the final quarter before Stephen Curry decides to take it away from them.
The Mavericks started the fourth quarter by having Luka Doncic find a cutting Dwight Powell for an easy layup to keep their lead at 108-101. The Warriors were keeping up with the Mavericks pace as Andrew Wiggins hit a step-back jump shot to make it a five point game in the early stages of the quarter. The Mavericks were able to increase their lead to 10 points as Luka Doncic drilled a three pointer while Stephen Curry was getting some rest on the bench. Without Curry starting the fourth quarter, they would turned to Andrew Wiggins to give them some much needed points and he delivered by scoring all of the 7 points in the quarter to make it a five point game again. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:26 left in the game as the Mavericks were holding onto a 113-108 lead. The Mavericks once again find themselves trying to close out a game in the fourth quarter as they tried to come away with a win once this game is over. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to deliver by making a 7-foot shot to make it 115-108. The Warriors were massively struggling without Stephen Curry on the court as Steve Kerr tried to pick the right time to send him back in the game. With 6:09 left in the game, Stephen Curry found his way back in the game as his team was trailing 118-110 and as a result found a wide open Andrew Wiggins for a three pointer to make it a five point game. Rick Carlisle would send Luka Doncic back into the game with 5:24 left in the game as he was getting his rest in hopes that Doncic could push them to the finish line. He would deliver by hitting a 28-foot three point jumper to extend the Mavericks lead to 126-118 as that basket gave him 39 points in the game. The Warriors would call a timeout with 4:18 left as the time to catch up to the Mavericks were slowly slipping away. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors turned to Draymond Green but couldn’t deliver as an offensive foul would be called on him. The officials would review a potential flagrant foul on Kristaps Porzingis as he fouled Draymond Green while he was trying to make a dunk with 3:52 left in the game. After the review, the officials would rule the foul not deemed “flagrant” and as a result Green would get two free-throws. He would make both of them to make it 126-120 as the Mavericks were holding onto the lead. This game would quickly turn into a “classic” as this game was heading into the final minutes. Stephen Curry would hit an easy layup to give him 51 points as he reached 50+ points for just the second time in his career. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 2:02 left in the game as the Mavericks were barely holding onto their 128-124 lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Maxi Kleber after a couple of offensive rebounds but couldn’t convert. As this game approached the final seconds, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he would hit a clutch 28-foot three point shot to give the Mavericks a 131-124 lead. The Warriors would call a timeout with 43.4 seconds left in the game as they try one for last shot at coming back in this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Warriors turned to Stephen Curry as he drilled yet another three pointer to make it 131-127 with 36 seconds remaining in the game as the Mavericks were so close to finishing this one out.
This team looked looked sharp as they finally decided to come out to play in this game. The Mavericks had a chance to runaway with it but the Warriors kept staying in the game by having their three-point shooting working for them. So many three pointers were taken this game but most of them came from Stephen Curry as he had a monster game. This was a nail biter until the very final second.
In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Golden State Warriors 134-132 as they split their two game series 1-1. The Mavericks record would improve to 10-14 on the season. Luka Doncic finished with a career-high tying 42 points while also recording 11 assists in the nail biting victory. The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry as he finished with 57 points (the most scored in a loss in his career). Both superstars came out to play from both teams as both Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry each had one of their best games this season. The Mavericks desperately needed a win and they ultimately got it and you can thank Luka Doncic for finding Maxi Kleber as he hit a clutch three pointer as he called “game”. This was a very fun game seeing two teams battle it out until the very last second.
The Mavericks will turn their focus to the Minnesota Timberwolves as they welcome them to the American Airlines Center on Monday. The Mavericks hope that this game is the start of something special because they could really use it.