Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night at American Airlines Center:
1. THIS JUST IN, STEPHEN CURRY IS REALLY GOOD: If you have a heart, you must feel some sympathy for whoever has to guard Stephen Curry. Or shall I say, whoever has to try and guard Stephen Curry? Because he has a quick first step, a quick release, a variety of shots and a shooting range that stretches from Dallas to Fort Worth, it is nearly impossible to contain Curry. On Sunday, Curry pulled out all the stops as he made 17-of-32 baskets – including 11-of-19 shots from 3-point range – on his way to pouring in a season-high 48 points.
2. MAVS MUST CLOSE THE DEAL: As they were when they played Golden State last month in Oakland, the Mavs were right there step-for-step with the Warriors. But as was the case on Dec. 22, the Mavs failed to close the deal. The Warriors beat the Mavs last month by four points. On Sunday, Golden State beat Dallas by five points, although the Mavs held a 113-108 lead with 3:51 remaining in the game. However, the Mavs went 0-of-8 from the field, scored just one point and committed two turnovers the rest of the game, which ended with the Warriors on an 11-1 run.
3. BRUNSON, HARRIS STEPPED UP: In the wake of the absolutely devastating season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury to guard J. J. Barea, rookie Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris were the proverbial next men up for the Mavs. And the duo put on quite a nice show against the Warriors while performing Barea’s old duties in running the Mavs’ second unit. Brunson produced 12 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in 30 minutes, while Harris used his veteran acumen to score nine points, rack up three assists and record one block in only 11 minutes.
4. DONCIC DID IT AGAIN: The time has finally come where whatever Luka Doncic does shouldn’t be a surprise anymore. He’s that good. The rookie from Slovenia has proven time and time again that he’s already one of the prolific players in the NBA. On Sunday, Doncic worked his magic against the two-team defending NBA champions – a team with some pretty good defenders. Doncic’s statement bucket was a step-back 3-pointer that he drilled late in the third quarter with Kevin Durant draped all over him. Overall, Doncic popped in 26 points and also collected six rebounds and five assists.
5. JORDAN STACKING UP THE DOUBLE-DOUBLES: As he continued to do one of the dirtiest jobs in the NBA – securing rebounds — DeAndre Jordan held down the fort in the middle against the Warriors as he finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. It’s the 37th time this season Jordan has collected at least 10 rebounds in a game. Plus, counting the 13 points Jordan scored – he was 5-of-8 from the field – the 11-year veteran now has 26 double-doubles on the season. That ties him with Phoenix Suns rookie Deandre Ayton for 11th place in the NBA in double-doubles this year.