The Golden State Warriors were on the losing end of a down to the wire battle against the gritty Dallas Mavericks, 112-109. The score swung back and forth the whole game, and was in doubt until the closing seconds. The Warriors were missing Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, but still had every opportunity to win the game.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with an energetic 32 point performance on 11-of-24 shooting from the field, but missed his last four shots, including a potential go ahead bucket in the final minute.
Klay Thompson added 24 points, but struggled from the field, going 9-of-24 shooting. Unfortunately, Durant and Thompson combined to go 4/15 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Luka Doncic was as good as advertised, craftily punishing the Warriors for 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Old friend Harrison Barnes held his own in the duel against his replacement KD, scoring 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and getting to the free throw line aggressively, knocking down 7-of-11 of his attempts from the charity stripe.
The refs were giving KD no favors early in the first quarter, calling him for a questionable (at best) travel, and then letting him get hacked early with no calls. Warriors coach Steve Kerr took umbrage to the former MVP being treated like a scrub by the officials, and let them have it. They responded with giving both him and KD a tech.
That seemed to light a fire under the Warriors, and they began to crank up the pace on the Mavs. Damion Lee cranked up the energy in particular, terrorizing the Dallas ballhandler’s on defense, and delivering some sweet shooting on offense. Curry’s brother-in-law clearly is picking up the family vibes.
Look at Steph's reaction on the bench pic.twitter.com/uWBJNxUW0B— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 18, 2018
Warriors bench scored 26 points in the first half, paced by Lee’s 11, and Shaun Livingston’s 8 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds.
Durant led all scorers after two quarters with 18 points, but Harrison Barnes was coming right back at him with 15 points of his own!
Warriors 59, Mavericks 57
The third quarter was a slog, as both teams played solid defense, and neither offense could get a rhythm. Damian Jones in particular turned the paint into a no fly zone, with 4 blocks for the game.
One thing that the Warriors broadcast team noticed was DeAndre Jordan’s suddenly amazing free throw shooting. He’s a 45% free thrower for his career, but is shooting 80% this season, his first with Dallas. The camera showed his new routine: pausing at the line and talking to a teammate, before taking the shot. And it was working! He finished 5-of-6 from the free throw line from the night.
The fourth quarter was more of an up and down affair, as both teams pushed the pace looking for any easy buckets.
As the teams slugged it out, it came down to the wire. Doncic isolated and scored over Jonas Jerebko on an awkward, wrong-footed, contested floater to give Dallas a 109-108 lead with a little over a minute to go. Doncic is LEGIT.
Luka gives us the lead! pic.twitter.com/2dk0O28vTW— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) November 18, 2018
- Durant isolated on Barnes, in the mid post, but his fallaway jumper fell short.
- The Mavs rebounded, got fouled, and split the ensuing free throws to go up 110-108.
- The Warriors rebounded and called timeout. Durant was double teamed on the inbound, and the Warriors passed into Thompson, who drove baseline and clanged a moderately difficult mid range jumper that he’s certainly capable of hitting.
- Doncic secured the rebound, was fouled, and knocked down two free throws to go up 112-108.
- Barnes inexplicably fouled Durant on the inbound, sending KD to the line. Durant made the first, missed the second, but Jerebko rebounded it!
- Jerebko then bizarrely tried a quick shot, that was promptly blocked, game over.
That’s an L folks, breaking a 10 game win streak the Warriors held agains the Mavs. Quinn Cook and Damion Lee were bright spots off of the bench, scoring 15 and 13 points respectively.
The Warriors were held to 44% shooting, as Dallas shot 46%. Both teams shot under 30% from beyond the arc.
Warriors starters went 3-of-23 from 3 tonight. Klay 2-of-11, KD 0-of-4.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 18, 2018
Wellp, that’s the second loss in a row on this Texas trip, with another game coming fast tomorrow against the new look San Antonio Spurs. The Dubs will have to put this behind them ASAP and refocus for the next tough challenge.