Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
As both teams battle for positioning in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Dallas Mavericks clinched the season series against the Golden State Warriors.
Dallas defeated Golden State 133-103 in Tuesday’s showdown at Chase Center after the teams split their first two meetings. Luka Doncic led the way for the victors, who improved to 34-27 on the season and 4-1 in the last five.
A solid showing from Stephen Curry was not enough for the Warriors, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end as they fell to 31-31.
Notable Player Stats
- Luka Doncic, G, DAL: 39 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB, 2 STL, 15-of-23 FG
- Dorian Finney-Smith, F, DAL: 13 PTS, 8 REB, 2 STL, 3-of-4 3PT
- Stephen Curry, G, GS: 27 PTS, 2 AST, 2 STL, 5-of-9 3PT
- Mychal Mulder, G, GS: 24 PTS, 5 REB, 6-of-11 3PT
- Draymond Green, F, GS: 0 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK
Luka Leads Way in Dominant Win
Dallas is just looking for consistency at this point of the season.
The team went 5-6 in its previous 11 games with a 1-4 stretch and three-game winning streak mixed in during that span. Finding that consistency figured to be challenging Tuesday since Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) and Josh Richardson (hamstring) were sidelined by injuries.
The Mavericks came out on absolute fire and ended the first quarter on a 25-0 run to seize immediate control. They built on that lead in the second with Doncic dropping floaters in the lane and facilitating, but it was far from a solo effort.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson provided a spark off the bench, Dorian Finney-Smith hit from the outside and Doncic fittingly put the finishing touch on a dominant half with a buzzer-beater in the lane.
The game was essentially over by the start of the second half, which helps explain some of the Mavericks’ defensive lapses in the third quarter after they set the tone on that end in the early going. Still, Doncic made sure those largely didn’t matter as he matched Curry shot-for-shot with a dazzling offensive explosion.
While consistency has remained an issue, it wasn’t difficult to envision the Mavericks threatening some of the top teams in the West as Doncic caught fire and spearheaded a blowout win even without Porzingis and Richardson.
Curry’s Scoring Efforts Go Wasted by Warriors
At this point, there’s a game within the game every time the Warriors take the floor.
Curry is in the middle of a historic push for what would be the third MVP of his illustrious career. The sharpshooter already broke James Harden‘s record for the most three-pointers in a month and failed to reach the 30-point mark in just one of his team’s previous 13 games in April. He entered Tuesday’s game averaging a stunning 38.1 points a night in the month.
Not even Curry could rescue the Warriors in this one.
While No. 30 had double figures by halftime, the rest of his teammates combined for 17 points prior to intermission as they fell behind 62-29. It was one of the ugliest halves of basketball in the entire season, as poor shooting and turnover issues plagued the Warriors on one side and an inability to get stops on the other made things even worse.
To Curry’s credit, he did what he could to close the gap with 15 points in the third quarter and multiple shots from well beyond the arc. The Warriors also scored 35 in the third, which was more than they scored in the entire first half.
Still the overall frustration was apparent when head coach Steve Kerr picked up a technical foul and the home team was unable to meaningfully cut into the lead even with the seven-time All-Star pouring in the points.
While part of the problem was porous defense, the Warriors also finished with 18 turnovers and shot just 34-of-84 (39.8 percent) from the field in the blowout loss. They struggled on both ends of the floor and will frankly need to take significant strides to be a true threat come playoff time as they fight to solidify their spot in the Western Conference field.
Both teams are on the road Thursday when the Mavericks play the Detroit Pistons and the Warriors face the Minnesota Timberwolves.