The Golden State Warriors lost 134-132 on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, in one of the most compelling games of the season.
How did they do with their pregame keys to victory? Let’s find out.
Hot and small
The key: Come out firing out of the gates and turn it into a small ball game again.
The outcome: The Warriors fell behind 18-2 before you even realized that the game was on ABC. So they get 0 out of 10 for “come out firing out of the gates.”
They did kind of turn it into a small ball game early, but only kind of. They got killed on the glass in those minutes, allowed Kristaps Porzingis to get comfortable near the hoop, and didn’t beat the Mavs down the floor.
If we were judging for the last 44 minutes of the game, it would be a lot different. But the first four minutes — that’s “out of the gates” — were a catastrophic failure in this regard.
Grading the key: 0.5 out of 10.
Keep Dallas out of the paint
The key: Limit Dallas’ points in the paint.
The outcome: Dallas looked a lot bigger on Saturday than on Thursday, and they scored 40 points in the point (the Dubs, however, scored 42).
Still, it felt like a game between two small teams, which is exactly what the Warriors needed to do, and what they need to continue doing while James Wiseman and Kevon Looney are out.
Grading the key: 7 out of 10.
The key: Have at least 20 transition points.
The outcome: The Warriors had 25 fast break points. Last I checked, 25 is a larger number than 20, though I may have to call up my high school math teacher to double-check that one.
Grading the key: 9 out of 10.
Wiggs and Oubre
The key: Solid performances from Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins.
The outcome: Steph Curry’s dominant performance overshadowed a tremendous game from Wiggins. It was a picture of efficiency for the wing, as he netted 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting, and also grabbed 5 rebounds, while playing pretty good defense.
Two days after a career-high 40 points, Oubre was less dynamic, and finished with 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting.
Grading the key: 5 out of 10.
The key: Make sure the free-flowing offense still finds Steph Curry.
The outcome: Curry took 31 shots on Saturday. The rest of the Warriors starters? They combined to take ... wait for it ... 31 shots.
Curry was the focal point. Much of that was his own doing, but his teammates made sure to get him the ball.
Grading the key: 9.5 out of 10.
A good performance all around. Just not quite good enough.