Dallas outlasted a final rally from the Golden State Warriors to win 103-99. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 22, while Monta Ellis contributed 10 assists despite going 2 of 16 from the floor. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 29 points and 8 assists.
First quarter saw the teams exchange buckets early, with David Lee getting into the heart of the Dallas defense and scoring at the rim, while Dirk saw a couple of shooter's touch bounces off of jumpers. Jose Calderon was hot early, pulling up on pick and roll jumpers. Golden State hung tight in the quarter mainly through offensive rebounding and deft interior passing.
Vince Carter saw his struggles continue as he missed two open threes and got blocked at the rim by Jermaine O'Neal. Shawn Marion helped Dallas close the quarter strong, scoring six straight including a great fast break dunk off of an excellent outlet pass from the aforementioned Carter. Quietly, Monta Ellis played a brilliant quarter dishing 6 assists despite a rough shooting period. Mavs led 28-22.
With a small lead, Dallas went to work in the second. Jae Crowder came out of his funk to hit a three to start the quarter. Dirk kept his hot shooting alive, abusing poor Draymond Green in the post twice. The body of Jermaine O'Neal fought to keep Golden State in the game, scoring six in the period. The Mavs' bench played a big role in the quarter as Shane Larkin, DeJuan Blair, and Wayne Ellington kept the Warriors on their heels. Ellington in particular played very well, including an insane back door cut slam dunk off of a pass from Larkin.
After a great drive and score from Ellis in transition to push the lead to 17, the Warriors decided to wake up. A couple of Harrison Barnes free throws followed by Steph Curry hitting two threes off of a basic high pick and roll, and a 17 point lead was down to nine in two minutes. Dalembert dunked off of a fantastic Dirk dime to extend the lead again, but David Lee answered on the final possession of the period.
The third felt like familiar territory; Dallas turned it over on the opening play leading to a Bogut dunk. Dirk went to work though, hitting two fantastic shots out of isolation. The Warriors responded with a 7-0 run before Jose Calderon stopped the bleeding. Dallas continued to work through Dirk, which resulted on two more made baskets. On the third straight post entry to Dirk, the Warriors doubled, and Dirk reversed the ball to Monta who fed it to Jose Calderon for an open three.
The Warriors weren't dead though, and after an and one from David Lee, Golden State was right back in the mix. A Vince Carter shot extended the lead back to seven again for Dallas before three free throws for the Warriors chipped the lead away again. Then DeJuan Blair happened. It's hard to describe what he does, other than bull his way to rebounds. Blair rebounds and screens led to jumpers from Larkin and a three from Dirk. Larkin also hit a buzzer beating runner to give Dallas an 82-71 lead into the fourth.
With Dallas feeling it after a hot finish to the fourth, Golden State effectively punched Dallas in the mouth; Curry and Barnes cut the lead back to six in the first minute of the period. The Dallas bench unit was not ready to relinquish the lead. Shane Larkin left a wide open lay up for Blair. On the ensuing possession Larkin stole the ball and Crowder finished a lay up with the foul (he hit the free throw). Larkin then hit a rainbow mid range. Dirk's post kick to Crowder for three on the next possession put Dallas up 16. The game felt nearly over with 8 minutes remaining.
It wasn't. The Dallas lead stayed between 14-17 points over the next few minutes. DeJuan Blair pushed the lead back to 99-82 with 5:18 remaining. Over the next three minutes, Golden State effectively caught fire, going on a 13-0 run that coincided with the Maverick offense sputtering to a complete halt. After a Curry shot pulled the Warriors to within 4 (99-95), Dallas called a timeout with 2:32 remaining. The next minute of basketball was ugly, with Ellis missing another shot at the rim and Klay Thompson badly missing the rim on a transition three. Finally, Samuel Dalembert broke the stalemate with a dunk off of a brilliant dump off from Monta Ellis. Curry hit free throws on the next possession for Golden State, but Dirk effectively iced the game at the 1:14 mark with a dagger over Barnes. Golden State hit two more free throws but were not able to get another good look at the rim over the final 74 seconds. Dallas escaped 103-99
The Warriors looked tired on the second night of a traveling back to back. Oh well. We've been there.
I don't have any. That was a fun game. I'm glad they didnt lose.
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