After the All star game last week, it was back to business this week. On Sunday night , second in the West Golden State had home court ad against fifth placed Dallas. Both sides should comfortably make the playoffs but I was more interested in who has the upper hand as the two are likely to meet at some point during the off season. The Warriors’ form has been patchy since the end of January, Mavs have struck a rich vein of form with one loss in their last 10 matches. Part reason for this is Luka Doncic dominating the three point shooting and on the paint. He was his usual best with 34 points and 11 rebounds. The first Q certainly belonged to GS, the ball movement in finding a teammate impressed here. Check out 17-9 GS. Looney with the big triple. Steph was double teamed and was unselfish enough not to try the downtowner, Looney unselfish too having floored his marker. Andy Wiggins had 18 points for the Warriors, second only to Steph’s 27. Now watch Doncic at 32-16 GS. He uses the same MO but teams just don’t know how to deal with him. He bounces the ball outside the arch in one spot, thinking and thinking then bam. If as a defender you don’t come close enough he punishes you.
More even match up in Q2. Sign of confidence is when you see a player try a three from further away from the arch, Davis Bertans at 42-31 GS. The Warriors kept the score level by scoring more from the paint. Check out 52-46 GS. Number 25 for Dallas, Bullock not picking up Steph’s run after the give and take with Looney. Golden State looked the business at half time with a handy 60-48 lead. It was not a great start to Q3 from the Mavs. Luka giving the ball away at 62-48 GS to Steph(who isn’t the tallest player in the world by any stretch). Steph finding Gary Payton Jnr on the fast break who finished off with a two. I love the body shake mid air which cleared the way. This was one of a shockingly high 18 turnovers for Dallas. The lead went into the twenties with this huge three from Steph at 70-52 GS. But give credit where it is due, the Mavs fought back gallantly. Besides Luka, Spence Dinwiddie(number 25) had an awesome game with 26 points. Watch the drive for the two and foul on 88-72 GS from Spence, not afraid to take on the two defenders, got his just deserts. With Warriors looking almost a shoe in for the W leading 88-74 going into the Q. The Mavs destroyed GS defensively. Chief destroyers offensively were Spence(93-85 GS) and 93-88 GS. The supporting cast even got on the act with Dorian(number 10) at 94-90 GS. Speak of great defense, how about the block by Dorian on Looney at 94-93 GS as the Mavs took the lead for the first time in the game. From there, the Mavs never looked back as they ran out impressive 107-101 winners from an unlikely position of having been down by 20 at some point. Underestimate them at your peril.