SAN FRANCISCO – A perfect night by Dwight Powell was the impetus the Dallas Mavericks used to put on a dominant performance Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors.
Powell was 9-for-9 from the field and finished his flawless showing with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes as the Mavs blew past the Warriors, 124-97, before a sellout crowd of 18,064 at Chase Center in the opener of a two-game road trip.
Now 25-15 overall, 13-5 on the road and 3-0 against the Warriors this season, the Mavs will play the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday at 9 p.m. CT before returning home to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
The picture-perfect output by Powell left him just one basket shy of the Mavs’ team record owned by Brandan Wright, who was 10-of-10 from the field during a 107-95 road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Apr. 4, 2014.
“The guys found me in very close to the rim situations – lobs and dunks,” Powell said. “They’re high percentage shots. They hit me right on the numbers in time and space.”
A 3-pointer by Powell staked the high-stepping Mavs to a comfortable 28-15 lead late in the first quarter. And behind some sizzling shooting and proficient defense, the Mavs eventually built that lead to 30 points in the fourth quarter.
“Powell made a couple of adjustments in his game,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I love the three he took tonight.
“It was right in the rhythm of the game, it was right in the rhythm of how the defender was playing. His rolls and attacks and offensive rebounds and crashes are among the most efficient in the game, so he’s playing at a high level.”
Luka Doncic is too, although he admits he needs to work on his free throw shooting. Doncic finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, but was only 2-of-8 from the free throw line and 2-of-9 from the 3-point stripe.
“It’s mental, it’s all my head,” Doncic said of his work at the charity stripe. “I’m thinking I missed the last two I’m going to miss again, so I just got to get straight in the head.”
With Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness/illness) out for the eighth straight game, Boban Marjanovic came off the bench and was solid as a rock. Marjanovic had seven points and seven rebounds in the first half and finished the night with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“He gave us real solid minutes in both halves,” Carlisle said. “The first half was really, really good because it allowed us to rest Powell and (Maxi) Kleber a little more than we normally would.”
Meanwhile, Tim Hardaway Jr. collected 12 points, Kleber scored 11 points, and J.J. Barea played the final eight minutes of the game and tallied 11 points.
“I like the way we played,” Carlisle said. “I like our concentration, focus and effort defensively.
“We made enough plays on offense to get a lead and get out of here alive, so I thought that was a good job.”
Which was magnified by the fact that since the Mavs are now playing the Kings on the last end of a back-to-back, they were able to keep their main players’ minutes low in the game against the Warriors. None of the Mavs played more than 27 minutes, and that should bode well against Sacramento.
“It always helps, at least on paper,” Carlisle said, referring to keeping his players’ minutes to a minimum. “Tomorrow is another tough game.
“None of these games are easy, so we’ll get on the bus and get up there and get rested up and get ready.”
The Mavs were the more aggressive team Tuesday as they bolted ahead 36-26 after the first quarter, then stretched it out from there. They shot 50.5 percent from the field, outrebounded the Warriors, 53-36, and outscored them in the paint, 58-48.
While showing their defensive strength, the Mavs held the Warriors (9-33) to just nine 3-pointers made in 32 attempts.
“One of the keys coming into the game, I thought, was we needed to get the ball into the paint a lot,” Carlisle said. “The first quarter was good, the second quarter was better, and we were building on it as the game was going along.
“That gives you a chance to get in the bonus early and have a little bit of control of a road game. Hey look, it worked out, and we’re very pleased to get out of here with a win.”