It was a truly wild game. Luka Doncic went ballistic, with a game-high 41 points on 27 shots, while also adding 12 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and a block. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 32 points.
Early on it appears the Mavericks were going to runaway with this, racing out to a 23-6 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter. The Warriors almost immediately answered back and trailed only by one at halftime. From there it was just a raucous, back and forth, heavyweight fight with each team showing some ridiculous shot-making.
In the end, Dallas escaped a wide open game-tying attempted from Klay Thompson at the buzzer and the Mavericks crawled back to .500 at 10-10. The Warriors also dropped back down to .500 at 11-11.
Let’s just get to the good stuff.
This was a wild ass game, seriously
Honestly, I don’t even know how to break this game down. It was crazy. There were 800 travels called, Spencer Dinwiddie got ejected for an elbow to Jordan Poole’s chin that seemed inadverdant, Josh Green looked like Scottie Pippen, Steph Curry had a wide-open lane down two points with under 20 seconds left in the game and decided to stop and travel while taking a three pointer instead.
What else happened? Oh right, Dorian Finney-Smith elected to not take a wide-open dunk in the final 10 seconds, up two, and instead dribbled away from the rim to get fouled, where he missed a free throw to allow the Warriors a chance to tie it. Up three on the game’s final possession, the Mavericks had all five defenders start inside the three point line and then let Thompson get wide open anyway. And he missed!
Oh and Luka Doncic looked like basketball Jesus. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better game from Doncic, and that’s saying something. He desperately did not want to lose this game, and his jumper was outrageous, along with easily the best defensive performance of his career. It’s very obvious he emptied the tank for this one. And it paid off.
Obviously this wasn’t a flawless game from the Mavericks and I could probably list 10 or so things that irked or troubled me, but who cares. The Mavericks were in a serious funk, and funk-busting wins are almost never easy. When you’re digging out of a hole, the final stretch is always the hardest part. While the Mavericks probably aren’t totally out of said hole, they’ve made a substantial effort just by ending this awful losing streak. No style points required here, just get the win and move on, which Dallas did.
Hope everyone had a stable heartrate throughout this one. Sheesh. Did I say this game was crazy? This game was crazy.
Josh Green is good. That’s it, that’s all there is to say
Seriously. He’s good!
OK, I’ll say some more. There’s a new movie coming out early next year called Cocaine Bear and let me just say that is probably the best way to describe how Green played tonight. Like a wild bear that ingested a large amount of cocaine.
Green scored 13 points in 27 minutes and he continued to prove that his early season start is not a fluke. He made 3-of-5 from three, had one steal, and deflected and disrupted what seemed like hundreds of plays throughout the game. This was the first time I can recall coach Jason Kidd deciding to roll with Green down the stretch over Reggie Bullock, and it was a night and day difference in terms of energy and activity. Green continued to attack closeouts and finish at the basket and make wild passes, like his 360 baseline feed to Davis Bertans in the first half.
It totally felt like the Mavericks let go of the rope in this game when Dinwiddie got ejected and the Warriors built a 100-96 lead after a bad Mavericks turnover on an inbounds play. The ensuing Warriors possession saw Green go insane on defense, basically hounding whoever had the ball, poking it loose in the corner and diving out of bounds to try and save it. It all happened right in front of the Mavericks bench, who got fired up, along with the American Airlines Center crowd. Dallas scored seven straight points after that and seriously, Green’s energy during that defensive possession might have been the winning moment of the game, when things looked to be spiraling out of control.
The war is over, there’s not much use in debating it anymore: Green needs to take Bullock’s spot in the rotation, at least until Bullock starts making threes again, which should start happening in about a week.
The Mavericks throttled the Warriors starters
The Warriors entered tonight with the best five-man lineup in the NBA, their starting group of Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. So the Mavericks, of course, whipped that lineup’s ass.
Every single Warriors starter was a minus in this game, and the eye test easily confirmed it. When the Warriors went up in the fourth and the game was winding down to the halfway point of the fourth quarter, Warriors coach Steve Kerr put his starters back in and the Mavericks immediately went on a run to take the lead back. It wasn’t until Kerr subbed Jonathan Kuminga in for Looney before the Warriors got back into the game in the final minutes.
Dallas just obliterated the two-big lineup thanks to two things: Doncic being about as locked in as I’ve ever seen him, making 4-of-9 from three, which was necessary to punish that lineup from the outside. The other reason was Tim Hardaway Jr., who has been awful all season, throwing in 5-of-11 from three. Those threes from Doncic and Hardaway forced that two big lineup out of its comfort zone and Doncic picked it apart.
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