In the biggest game of the season to date, the home team came out and laid an egg.
The Golden State Warriors had a terrible first half and never came close to recovering in a 133-103 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Stephen Curry led the way with 27 points, while Mychal Mulder chipped in with 24. Luka Doncic was sensational for the Mavericks. finishing with 39 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Considering the implications, it was a disappointing effort from the Dubs, who came into the matchup just 2.5 games behind the Mavs for the prestigious sixth-seed in the Western Conference. Golden State was historically bad during the first 24 minutes.
“I’m not that concerned about a nine-minute scoring drought. I’m concerned about defense,” head coach Steve Kerr said following the loss. “I’m concerned about the level of intensity and preparation and competitive. I’m the head coach and Idid not have them ready to play, clearly. Biggest game of the year and it was over before it started.”
Even though the Mavs played on Monday, they came out and looked like the fresher team. The Dubs had an early 12-11 lead, but it was all Dallas from there. The Mavericks dominated on both ends of the floor the rest of the way.
Golden State shot just 19 percent from the field and was held scoreless for the final 8:40 of the first, leading to a 25-0 run by Dallas to close out the quarter to take a 36-12 lead after one.
Things didn’t get any better in the second quarter. The Warriors couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end and were shooting a paltry 21.1 percent from the field during the opening half. Doncic had 16 points and helped the Mavs hold a 62-29 lead at the break. It was the lowest-scoring half of the season for the Dubs.
To put things in context for how bad Golden State was in the first half, Curry was two-of-four from beyond the arc, while the rest of the Warriors combined to go one-for-15.
Give some credit to the Dubs for continuing to play hard on the offensive end in the third quarter despite the fact they had little-to-no chance of coming back. Curry was bringing it and helped the Warriors put up 35 points in the period, but Dallas scored 41 and held a 39-point lead going into the fourth.
The Dubs shot just 39.8 percent from the field and connected on 16-of-43 3-point attempts. They were also outrebounded by seven and committed five more turnovers.
Golden State hasn’t laid an egg like this since the April 2 loss to the Toronto Raptors where Curry wasn’t in the lineup. Falling 3.5 games behind the Mavericks in the standings isn’t necessarily a death blow, but it makes the path to getting at least one guaranteed seven-game series much tougher.
The good news for the Warriors is that they have an extremely easy schedule coming up. The Dubs will play a combined six games against teams that are all out of the top 10 of the Western Conference. If they can take advantage of the favorable matchups, they could give themselves a shot to get into the top six going into the final four games on the schedule.