OAKLAND, Calif. — With playoff aspirations for both teams coming into the season, the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors entered Wednesday night’s nationally-televised matchup in very similar boats.
As both teams tried to remain afloat after disappointing losses Monday night, the stage was set for a playoff-like intensity at ORACLE Arena. Meanwhile, the Mavericks tried to finish off their four-game stretch on the road with another signature win, looking to return home with a 3-1 mark after falling to a 112-97 loss in Sacramento.
But, after jumping out to a lead as large as 18 in the first half, the Mavs would see the Warriors stage a furious rally on their home hardwood. And thanks to Stephen Curry’s game-winning jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining, the Mavericks (13-10) would finish their road trip on the downside of a 95-93 loss.
“You can take a positive from this,” leading scorer Monta Ellis said after the Mavs finished a 2-2 road trip. “We played hard all the way to the end, and Steph made a great shot at the end. We lost tonight, but I think we played better than in [Sacramento]. It went all the way to the end, and they had to make a great shot. Steph did and they won.”
Hoping to duplicate their 103-99 home win over the Warriors (13-10) back on Nov. 27, the Mavs tried to get off to a good start while spitting the sour taste of Monday night’s loss out of their mouths. Meanwhile, Ellis attempted to find better offensive success against his former team after a 2-of-16 shooting performance and season-low four points in the first meeting.
But Ellis would be forced to check out after collecting his second personal foul with 8:20 left in the opening quarter. The cat-quick guard then returned to the floor in time to score just before the close of the period, putting the Mavericks up 23-16 after 12 minutes of play.
Holding the Warriors to 6-of-24 shooting in the first quarter and forcing seven turnovers, the Dallas defense continued to scramble to began the second stanza. Ellis then transformed from scorer to facilitator, finding second-year standout Jae Crowder for back-to-back scores to put the Mavs up double digits.
But, after the Mavs went up by as much as 13, the Warriors responded with a 7-0 spurt. Mavs point guard Jose Calderon then settled his team, extending the lead back to double digits before back-to-back 3-point bombs from 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki widened the separation on the scoreboard to 18.
Golden State sharpshooter Klay Thompson then fired the Warriors back into the game, trimming the Mavs’ advantage to 11, 55-44, at the halftime intermission.
Led by Calderon’s 15 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, the Mavericks’ 46 percent from the field bettered the Warriors’ 39.5 percent through two quarters. The Mavs’ 6 of 13 from behind the arc and 10 points off Golden State’s 10 turnovers also powered the visiting team to the lead, as the two squads battled to a 25-all stalemate in the rebounding department.
With Ellis back on the attack and the Mavs continuing to lock down on the defensive end, the visitors would keep the home team at a safe distance as the third quarter got underway. However, one game after posting a season-high 43 points, Curry began to catch fire, forcing a timeout by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle with his team’s lead down to just six following Curry’s third 3-pointer of the night.
“This is the NBA and teams make runs,” Ellis said of the Warriors’ scoring barrage. “They came down and made shots, got stops at the other end when they needed to, got out and ran, and they played their basketball.We made some careless plays at the other end that we shouldn’t have made, but the crowd was getting into it. When they make shots and the crowd gets into it, it’s kind of a hostile environment.”
“You knew they were going to make a run in this building,” Nowitzki added. “We weren’t surprised. They weren’t going to shoot cold all night. And even in the first half they had some wide-open looks. … We knew they were going to make a run, and we withstood that run.”
A response would soon come from four-time All-Star Shawn Marion as he became the fourth Mav in double figures, draining a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Dallas team a 72-60 advantage. Still, after six unanswered Golden State points, the margin was just 72-66 entering the fourth.
Opting to begin the fourth period with rookie first-rounder Shane Larkin pressuring Curry fullcourt, Carlisle would be rewarded as the first-year guard swung the momentum back over to the Mavs. However, with Larkin on the bench alongside Nowitzki, Carlisle would be forced to burn a timeout after Curry’s corner 3-pointer cut the Mavericks’ edge to just three, 82-79, with 5:35 remaining.
Nowitzki then returned to the court, immediately answering Curry’s triple to tie the game with a three-point play the hard way to go back in front with 4:45 left to play. Ellis followed that up with a baby hook after a drive around Warriors big man David Lee.
However, after Nowitzki and Ellis took turns keeping the Warriors at bay, Curry struck again, raining in a 3-pointer and converting it into a four-point play after a foul by Calderon. Draymond Green followed suit, giving the Warriors a 93-92 edge with 49.9 seconds on the clock after a trey from the wing. Ellis then tied the game with a 1-of-2 trip to the foul line with 46.8 ticks still remaining.
The Dallas defense stepped up from there, forcing a miss by Curry on a drive before Ellis secured the rebound and called for a timeout with 32.8 seconds on the game clock. But, after a miss on a mid-range jumper by Ellis, Curry would get another chance, pump-faking on Marion and connecting on a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining. Out of timeouts, Calderon’s desperation attempt from the backcourt then came up short of the rim as the Mavs left the hardwood on the losing end of a thriller.
“We even had a six-point lead with a little bit over a minute to go, and the killer is the four-point play. To me, Jose didn’t even foul him, so that’s a tough swing right there,” Nowitzki admitted. “To just go up six and give the momentum back on a play like that, a four-point play, is probably where the game swung a little bit. … If we don’t give up that four-point play, I like our chances.”
Sharing the top scoring honors for the Mavs, Ellis and Nowitzki finished with 21 points apiece. Calderon added 18 points, matching Ellis with five assists. Meanwhile, Marion pitched in 12 points and nine rebounds.
Curry led four Warriors in double figures with a game-high 33 points on 13-of-25 shooting and 6 of 11 from behind the arc, dishing out nine assists to boot. The Warriors slightly outshot the Mavs on the night as well, 43 percent to 42 percent, in addition to a 50-43 rebounding advantage.
The Warriors also overcame their 18 turnovers, which led to 17 Dallas points, forcing the Mavs into 14 giveaways at the other end of the floor for 19 Golden State points.
“Our guys fought hard,” Carlisle concluded. “It came down to a couple of plays. They made a couple, and we didn’t.”
Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, facing off against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.
|Shawn Marion, F||35||5-10||1-2||1-2||0||9||9||1||2||1||1||1||-2||12|
|Dirk Nowitzki, F||34||7-14||3-6||4-5||0||7||7||2||1||2||2||2||-7||21|
|DeJuan Blair, C||23||2-8||0-0||0-0||2||7||9||2||0||0||2||2||-11||4|
|Monta Ellis, G||35||8-20||0-1||5-6||2||2||4||5||3||0||1||3||-7||21|
|Jose Calderon, G||33||7-15||3-9||1-1||0||4||4||5||0||0||1||2||-4||18|
Golden State Warriors
|Harrison Barnes, F||44||6-16||1-4||4-4||2||2||4||1||1||0||1||5||4||17|
|David Lee, F||37||7-16||0-0||1-2||5||6||11||3||1||1||2||4||2||15|
|Andrew Bogut, C||34||3-5||0-0||0-0||4||14||18||1||0||2||2||0||2||6|
|Klay Thompson, G||35||3-14||3-9||2-2||0||3||3||1||0||0||4||2||-2||11|
|Stephen Curry, G||43||13-25||6-11||1-1||0||4||4||10||3||0||8||3||5||33|
SAN FRANCISCO — With both the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors coming off lackluster performances Monday, there figures to be fireworks two nights later at ORACLE Arena.
Looking to bounce back after a disappointing 112-97 defeat in Sacramento, the Mavericks (13-9) will try to replicate their 103-99 home win over Golden State on Nov. 27. Meanwhile, the Warriors (12-10) will attempt to get back on track after suffering a 115-111 defeat in Charlotte, despite Stephen Curry’s 43-point, nine-assist outing. And after having to hold off the high-octane Warriors while catching them on the second night of a back-to-back in the first meeting, the Mavs know they’ll have their hands full Wednesday night.
“Well, we had a strong game, and then they hit us with some wild shot making down the stretch, which they’re very capable of doing,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of that November meeting. “And so that kind of stuff you’ve got to brace yourself for, for 48 minutes. I mean, they’re that good. We were fortunate to catch them on the second night. They played in Charlotte (Monday night), so they have a day in between. But that’s a tough place to play. We’ve got to be on our game and we’ve got to be ready for the situations — the pin-downs, the movement, the pick-and-rolls with Curry, the catch-and-shoots for [Klay] Thompson, the isos for [Harrison] Barnes and the two guards and the big guys inside. … They’ve got a lot of problems you’ve got to deal with.”
Vice versa, the Warriors will have to be prepared to stop the Mavs’ sixth-ranked scoring offense, which is putting up 103.4 points an outing. That could mean a heavy dose of Mavs leading scorer Monta Ellis, who will try to treat the fans of the team that made him the 40th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft to a show.
Dishing out 10 assists but posting a season-low four points against the Warriors on just 2-of-16 shooting, Ellis admittedly struggled to find a rhythm against his former team in the first matchup between the two squads. Still, while returning to the place where he spent ’05-12, the cat-quick guard figures to be right at home as the Mavs try to finish a four-game road stretch with a 3-1 mark.
“It was like a second home to me,” Ellis said as he makes his return to Oakland. “I came here when I was fresh out of high school, stayed here for six and a half or seven years, and I had my years here. Some were good, some bad, but I always love coming back to the fans. They’re pretty much the best fans in the NBA.
“It’s a different game. It doesn’t really matter to me. I just come in trying to get a win and play for the team I play for now. … I’m in a good place right now, but the fans have always been here and supporting me my whole career. It’s always great to come back here.”
Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their tough road stretch in Oakland for a second showdown of the season against the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 103-99 home win on Nov. 27. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. CT.
The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.