Playing his first home game since November, Andrew Bogut came up with the biggest defensive play of the night. His blocked shot in the final seconds of Thursday’s 100-97 triumph prevented a potential go-ahead shot by the Mavericks, saving a game that had the Warriors leading by 13 in the final period. As big as Bogut was down the stretch, the game couldn’t have been won without the offensive exploits of Klay Thompson. He had the hot hand for the second-consecutive game, making 11 of his first 14 shot attempts on his 27-point night. David Lee also had a big night, finishing with 15 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, while Jarrett Jack added 13 points and nine assists, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. Winners of three-straight games, the Warriors will look to extend that streak on Saturday when they host the Suns on Social Media Night at Oracle Arena.
On tonight's game:
"They relied a lot on their zone defense, disrupting us a little bit. At the end of the day, that is a game we lose last year. We made the plays we had to make. We got stops – obviously we have to close out games much better, but defensively we made the plays. Bogut (Andrew Bogut) had some big time blocked shots and D Lee (David Lee) and the rest of the guys we’re gang rebounding and making multiple effort plays. We will get better, but that is a game we lose last year."
On Andrew Bogut's minutes:
"It’s all on feel. I try to keep him loose and try not to give him long stints on the bench. It’s tough, but I just want him to be honest as player about how he is feeling. Other than that, it’s just a feel or a flow ... I don’t save anything, but I will be conscious that he is coming off an injury and rehab. Even with a great roll, I’m not going to ride him with extended minutes – I’m going to be smart. Obviously, there are going to be times where he is going to want to stay in and there will be times where I want him to stay in there, but we have to be smart with understanding where we are going and where we are at ... We are 12 games over .500 and he (Andrew Bogut) is just coming back. We are not going to panic and we are not going to rush him. We are fine. We have capable guys that can go and fulfill roles."
On Klay Thompson:
"I think he’s been great all year long – with (Stephen) Curry on the floor or not. He’s a knockdown shooter, as good as it gets. He’s got great size, defends his tail off and he understands that we need him to score more without Steph (Stephen Curry) on the floor. Lately, he’s been spectacular."
On closing the game:
"We made key shots. We made a layup and some free throws but in the end we just stuck together, played some defense and helped each other out. Even at the end when we were up by a three-point basket we played collectively tonight."
On winning without Stephen Curry:
"We played great as a team. It wasn’t an individual effort; we’ve got a real deep team this year and have a lot of guys who could start on this team."
On the final defensive sequence:
"O.J. Mayo was the guy, either him or Vince (Carter), so I saw O.J. turn the corner and split the elbow so I split my man. I saw Mayo in the corner, (David) Lee rotated out and I hustled back."
On if he fears fouls:
"Not right now. I think you have to pick and choose what you do when you get four or five fouls in the fourth quarter."
On if he plays mean:
"You have to get after it professionally. During games I don’t mind getting into it. Defense is where I’m most valuable to this team. I’m looking forward to scoring more here, but that not might be my role. I don’t mind that, some games I’ll get more touches than other but right now I’m most interested in doing what’s best for the team."
On if there is any benefit on winning on a defensive stop:
"Without question. We just had to let them know we don’t have to be so dependent on offense, and I think we’ve kind of grown and become confident in that area. We allowed our defense to make plays and help our offense."
SHOWDOWN WITH THE MAVERICKS
The Warriors return home to host Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday in a nationally televised contest on TNT. This will be the second of three meetings this season between Golden State and Dallas, and the Warriors won the first matchup, 105-101 in overtime, back in November in the Lone Star state. Tickets start at just $25 as part of the Wienerschnitzel Dynamic Deal and a limited number of seats are still available.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors rode the hot hand of Klay Thompson in Tuesday’s 108-95 road win over the Cavaliers. The second-year guard caught fire over the second and third quarters and finished the night with career-highs of 32 points and six three-pointers. Thompson was one of several Warriors players to step up, as the team was without Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry. Jarrett Jack replaced Curry in the starting lineup and logged 26 points and a career-high tying 12 assists, while David Lee flirted with a triple-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
PASSING THE DEPTH TEST
One of the greatest strengths of the 2012-13 Warriors has been the team’s depth. Throughout the course of a season, just about every team experiences injuries to key players, and a season’s success can sometimes hinge on how the team reacts when facing the adversity caused by injuries. The Warriors have proved to be quite resilient this season, and Tuesday’s effort in Cleveland offered further proof of that. Playing without three starters and another key rotation player, the Warriors got contributions throughout the lineup. While Thompson, Jack and Lee excelled on the stat sheet, the team got outstanding play from the likes of Kent Bazemore, Charles Jenkins and Draymond Green. The ability to be ready when called upon is an essential quality for a player coming off the bench, and the reserves will need to continue to display that trait in the coming months.
BACK ON WARRIORS GROUND
After four games in five nights spanning four cities and two countries, the Warriors are excited to come back home. Fans have packed the house at Oracle Arena this season, selling out the venue in each of the last 11 home games. The Warriors’ average home attendance this season is 19,140, which ranks sixth in the NBA, and the Warriors have taken advantage of that home court advantage. The club has won six of its last eight home games, and several of those victories have come against marquee opponents (i.e. Oklahoma City on Jan. 23 and L.A. Clippers on Jan. 2 and Jan. 21).
DALLAS SCOUTING REPORT
The Warriors' homecoming on Thursday comes against a Dallas team that has alternated wins and losses over the last week. Currently 4.5 games behind the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Mavericks need a second half surge to get back into postseason picture, and they’re attempting to start that run on the road. Dallas lost the opener of its four-game road trip when Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge sank a last-second shot on Tuesday, and they’ll look to get back on track against the Warriors. Offense hasn’t been a problem for the Mavericks this season. Six players average double figures in scoring, led by O.J. Mayo (17.8 ppg) and Dirk Nowitzki (14.8 ppg), and the club has passed the century mark in eight-straight games. Defense, however, continues to be the issue. Dallas yields 103.0 points per game, the second highest mark in the NBA, and they are the league’s worst rebounding team in terms of percentage (.478) and differential (-3.9).
GSW: Harrison Barnes (sore left knee), Stephen Curry (right ankle sprain) and Carl Landry (left shoulder contusion) are questionable and Brandon Rush (torn ACL and MCL, left knee) is out.
DAL: Chris Kaman (concussion) is day-to-day.