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Final score: Warriors bring Mavericks back down to Earth, 108-85

After two terrific wins at home, the Dallas Mavericks are embarrassed on the road by the Golden State Warriors.

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In the first half, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and David Lee combined to shoot 4-14 for 9 points.  Yet, Dallas trailed by double-digits.

That probably tells you everything you need to know about what kind of game this was.

Golden State had five players score in double figures, while another cold night from Dirk Nowitzki doomed the Mavs against a Warrior team that usually plays extremely well at home.

Monta Ellis led Dallas with 15 points, but had just one field goal and three points in the second half.  Golden State would break open a 20-point lead in the third quarter and hold it for most of the rest of the game.

Knowing that Dallas plays in Utah in less than 20 hours, Rick Carlisle threw in the towel early and put in his garbage time unit with a little under five minutes left.

This had the look of disaster fairly early on.  Dallas actually had a lead at the start, at 16-8, with Monta Ellis attacking the basket and generating easy looks for himself and Samuel Dalembert.  Unfortunately, Dallas only managed six points in the final six minutes of the first quarter, allowing Golden State to take the lead.

The very end of the first quarter featured a Jordan Crawford buzzer-beating three, which would be a preview of coming attractions.

In the second quarter, Crawford would put together a personal highlight video, nailing rainbow teardrops, step-back threes, or whatever else he cared to put up.  12 points came in a little over five minutes to start the second, and with Dallas continuing their offensive slide, they suddenly found themselves in an 18 point hole.

A 10-4 run in the last two minutes before halftime kept the score somewhat respectable at 55-44, but the game felt more out of reach than that, and it was disconcerting to see Golden State put up points with so little contribution from their top three scorers.

In the third quarter, the Golden State defense really put the clamps on Dallas, holding them to just 13 points, and the lead ballooned to 23.

Dallas had one small run in them left, as eight unanswered points got the lead down to 15 at 84-69.  Golden State had an answer, however, and a Steph Curry three(on a play where the Maverick defender ran at Andre Iguodala with Curry completely uncovered behind the line) put the Warriors back up over 20 points and sent in the garbage units for both sides.

Some observations:

  • Dirk didn't look quite right tonight.  At least, on offense.  Defensively, he actually did a pretty good job on David Lee, but a 4-11 shooting night for Dirk is suspect both in accuracy and volume.  He didn't seem to look for the ball as often as one would probably like.
  • Monta was aggressive at the start but was largely invisible in the second half.  I wouldn't compare Ellis to O.J. Mayo in this respect, but I would have thought Ellis would be more determined against his former team.
  • Devin Harris didn't play at all in the second half after an injury.  This forced Shane Larkin to step in, who missed all four of his shots in 16 minutes.
  • Speaking of 0-for's, Shawn Marion went 0-6, and grabbed just three rebounds in 26 minutes.  This was another one of those nights where Marion looked like he's got one foot out of his basketball career.
  • Dallas shot 36% from the field, 28% from three, and 64% from the free throw line.  The trifecta of shooting futility.  A good defensive team doesn't have a great chance of winning with those numbers.

Thankfully Dallas will quickly get a chance to wash the taste out of their collective mouths against Utah.  Let's hope a different team shows up there than the one that just played in Golden State.

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