All I gotta say is: Wow!
This was turning into any other game where the Warriors enter the 4th with a lead, this time it was 7 points. They struggled to score for a long time and the Mavs eventually took the lead. At this point I was wondering why I wasn't watching the UCLA-Gonzaga game instead (which by the way ended in dramatic fashion). Well instead of watching future NBA bust, Adam Morrison, Atma and I watched our hapless Warriors battle it out with a top Western Conference squad.
That's the Dampier defense that I'm used to
Down 4 with a minute to go and trading buckets with the Mavs free throws. In case you missed it here's the last sequence.
The were Mavs on an absolute free throw shooting tear going 30 for 30 at one point. Wouldn't you know it, they missed key free throws down the stretch (Very Golden State like if you ask me). This opened the door for the heroics led by Jason Richardson.
Down 3 with 16 seconds to go, Derek Fisher brings the ball up the floor and about 40 feet from the basket the Mavs decide to foul to make the Warriors shoot 2 free throws instead of a chance for 3. As Darrell Armstrong fouls Fisher, Fish puts up a 40 foot heave which goes in! It should be a 4 point play. Of course, nothing goes right for the Warriors, and the refs wave off the shot and Fish only gets 2 free throws. From the replays, it was clear it should have been a continuation for a chance at a 4 point play and a chance for the lead. But little did we know that we didn't need those 4 points as long as we have Superman. The Warriors foul on the ensuing inbounds play and there are 4.7 seconds to go and the Mavs up 1, shooting 2 free throws. First free throw...swish. Second free throw rims back iron and JRich grabs the rebound. As fast as he can, he hustles the ball up the floor with the time ticking down, 4, 3, 2...
He puts a spin move on Marquis Daniels, spinning from left to right. The clock hits 0.5 as he comes out of his spin and shoots an off balance 25 foot 3 as Darrell Armstong lunges at him as the buzzer sounds and the shot hits "Nothing but the bottom of the net!"
Warriors win! Warriors win!
In front of a stunned Dallas crowd the bench clears to mob Jason as he struts down the court bumping chests with Calbert Cheaney.
What an ending to a fantastic back and forth game.
We OWN the Mavericks in Dallas. 2-0 this year, both wins coming on last second shots. The last time by Baron, tonight by JRich.
The Warriors free throw shooting tonight was superb, 25-28. Also, JRich and Fisher hit big free throws down the stretch to keep the game within reach for Jason's game winner.
Awww look, they're holding hands.
The Warriors hands were very active on defense as they created fast break opportunities for themselves with 15 steals. Fisher was very active with 6 steals and Monta, as usual, stepped into the passing lanes with his extreme quickness to disrupt Dallas' flow. This led to 20 Dallas turnovers compared to only 11 for the Warriors. Dallas lost so many possessions to poor ball handling that if they had one or two of those back, they might have won the game. Dallas managed to shoot 54% and got to the line 38 times, but still succumbed to the Warriors.
Nobody could guard Dirk tonight, he ended with 51 points including 16-17 on free throws. He mixed it up with 3's, some post ups and some pick and pops. When the Warriors guarded him with a smaller man, he posted up. When they switched and put a big man on him, he took that guy outside and either shot over him or drove by him. Dallas fans began chanting MVP for him as he piled on the points in the 4th. Maybe they were really chanting for JRich.
Fisher had a nice game too filling up the boxscore with 17 points, 5 boards, 7 assists, and 6 steals. Of course he shot 4-16 (25%? 25%? Geez.), but 7-8 from the line. He still can't shoot and is better suited to coming off the bench so he can play within his abilities, but with Baron out, he's out best alternative. His defense has been good and he's hustling which helps stomach the poor shooting. And winning helps.
Also, if you've never seen Will Bynum jump, you should before his 10 day contract is up. Very powerful leaper. Could be fun to watch.
Murphy was nonexistent tonight. He didn't hardly play in the 4th until he was needed for his shooting in the final minute. 8 points and 3 boards in 28 minutes? This season he had played extremely well against Dallas avergaging 20 and 14, but tonight wasn't his night.
Ahhh I guess I have to do this since I rip him a lot for his poor play and should give him props when he deserves it. So...gulp... Mike Dunleavy had another excellent game going for 21 including 8 boards and 5 assists. I was happy with his performance tonight. He went to the boards, was the only Warrior boxing out, and found ways to score off putbacks and free throws. He got abused by Dirk, but who didn't? He made a nice defensive play on a Dallas inbounds in the last minute of the 4th when the Warriors were trying to foul. They were trying to inbound the ball to Dirk and he got free from Pietrus. Mike recognized it, and stepped in the passing lane to deny Dirk the ball. Incidentally, the pass went to Darrell Armstrong instead who proceeded to miss one of his two free throws. Good game Mike. I don't get to talk trash about you tonight. Phew, okay that's over with, wasn't so painful. Glad to see he's finally playing well. We just need it to carry over to the next couple weeks and then to next year.
Warrior Wonder: Who else? Jason Richardson. 40 points, 20 in the 3rd quarter. 5 points in the final 30 seconds. The game winning 3. Oh yea, 7-8 free throws. He's improving. I no longer doubt his clutch shooting ability. Heck, I'd even want him shooting our free throws at the end of the game. Jason for MVP.