That's exactly the way you want to wake up on a Saturday morning to see the Golden State Warriors play. Heading into a road contest against the Dallas Mavericks, the Dubs had won 14-straight contests. They'd get their 15th on the year in an easy 105-98 win against the Mavs where defense was the order of the day.
Stephen Curry continued his improved assist to turnover ratio leading the Warriors with a game high 29 points, and an impressive stat line of eight assists and one turnover. Although offense wasn't the highlight of the day, it was the second game in a row where the Warriors had three 20-point scorers. Harrison Barnes is continuously looking more comfortable with the starting unit in each game, and forward Draymond Green posted his fifth 20 point game of the season.
Quickly identifying and going to mismatches was also key for the Warriors, as the Mavericks mistakenly switched off on off ball screens and pick and rolls. Green and Thompson scored a number of points from the post over smaller defenders like Ellis and Jameer Nelson. Green ended the game with 20 points while Thompson had 25.
The Warriors didn't just play good defense against the league's highest scoring team, they exhibited the type of "help" defense that championship teams are made of. Although Chandler Parsons sat out for the Mavericks, the Warriors still held the Mavs to meager shooting. Although Nowitzki poured in 23 points while Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 24, not much came easy as the Mavericks shot 36-89 from the field, including 5-25 from behind the arc.
In what might've been one of the best defensive examples put on display this season, in the first quarter the Warriors gave a glimpse into what championship chemistry looks like on both ends of the floor. With close to six minutes left, Andre Iguodala was beat off the baseline upon which Festus Ezeli closed off the baseline and Harrison Barnes rotated to the basket to cover Ezeli's man Tyson Chandler. End result was the ball being poked loose by Barnes, and within ten seconds Klay Thompson hit an uncontested jumper at the free throw line.
Producing 15 Dallas turnovers in the game, the Warriors gave clear understanding to the idea of defense turning into easy offensive transition buckets.
The Mavs top offensive option, Dirk Nowitzki, saw a barrage of double teams and different defenders from Klay Thompson to Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston. The Warriors essentially baited the Mavs into dumping the ball down low only for the double team to come from the weak side which mainly resulted in turnovers or poor shots.
Both are great examples of how you win on the road, and when (it's not a matter of "if") the Warriors play that quality of D in a seven-game series, it's lights out for the opposition.
This 15 game win-streak has turned into something much more: it's just the beginning of something special, a destiny that's finally being realized after a long road of disappointment. So now the Warriors record stands at 20-2. ... At what time do we start talking about "the record"?