The Warriors came away with a huge road victory on Tuesday night, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 122-120 in overtime. Stephen Curry hit the go-ahead jumper with 0.1 seconds left on the clock, as the Dubs came back from a nine-point halftime deficit with their sixth game-winner of the year. Aside from the game-winner, Curry was terrific with 23 points and 10 assists. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. The victory pushes the Warriors record to 46-28. They’ll look to build on the momentum when they take on the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday.
On tonight's win:
“Great win. Absolutely Incredible win for us. Things going against us, they were making shots, making plays, and they had all the momentum. It’s a tied together team and I don’t think you need more evidence. This is a big time win and guys really stepped up and made plays. Jermaine was huge, Mo was huge, Jordan Crawford was big time off the bench, obviously Steph, Draymond, Andre played one of his best games of the year, and Klay was Klay. I hope I’m not forgetting anybody, but I thought it was a big time total team victory.”
“You can, but not at this moment. This is late in the year and I have seen teams say how easy it is to let go of the rope. This is a team that’s not going to do it. Contrary to anything we’re not going to do it. This is a quality win against a team that had everything going their way and I’m just proud of these guys. They deserve the credit. We began to defend at a high level, made multiple plays, we were undersized, but had extra effort plays. If you don’t leave that game as a Coach, as a player drained then something is wrong with you. This was a big time game”
On tonight's game:
“It was a good team win. The way it happened, the way they closed out the first half going on that barrage of three pointers. Then, the shots that were made on our end with Klay and Andre [Iguodala] making big daggers to answer their runs, it was an all-around effort. Even what Jordan [Crawford] was able to do for us, keeping us somewhat in the game in the first half and making an impact with his minutes. So, a big time win to start the road trip, obviously, we know where we are in the playoff standings and a big win.”
On what his emotions were after making the game winning shot:
“After J.O. [Jermaine O’Neal] got the block, we knew we would get the last shot so I wanted to make sure that we did. It was kind of a weird play; I thought they were going to trap at half court and I was able to get around it. Then, you look up and you have five seconds to try and figure out how to get a clean shot off. Once I got it off, I missed a couple at the end of regulation and overtime that I thought were good. I just wanted to keep shooting and thankfully it went in. Obviously, at that moment, when you see .01 on the clock, you know you just need one tip and the game is over so you can just enjoy the moment.”
On tonight's win:
“These are the wins that feel the best; it’s gut check time at this point in the season with three teams on our heels. Steph Curry played like a monster, Draymond [Green] did all he could to guard Dirk [Nowitzki]. The guy makes some of the toughest shots in the league, and it was a real collective effort. I’m proud of everybody. It was a real team win tonight.”
On how confident he was that the last shot was going in when it left Stephen Curry’s hand:
“First off, he was off balance, but I knew if he got a good look, he was going to make it. He has made four or five of those this year. He has become a real good closer. I have to guard him in practice, so I know what it’s like when he hits those kinds of shots.”
Coming off a disappointing home loss to the Knicks on Sunday, the Warriors head out on the road for a set of back-to-back road games in Texas, beginning on Tuesday night in Dallas against the Mavericks. This will be the fourth and final matchup between the two teams this season, with the home team having won each of the three prior contests. Golden State and Dallas are separated by only 1.5 games in the Western Conference standings, so expect an all-out battle as these teams jockey for playoff positioning.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite a valiant comeback effort, the Warriors fell short Sunday night, losing to the visiting Knicks 89-84. With both Andrew Bogut and David Lee missing the game due to injury, Stephen Curry added to his list of impressive performances against New York with 32 points. Klay Thompson added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Andre Iguodala chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and six assists. The loss drops the Warriors record to 45-28 and concludes their season schedule against the Eastern Conference. Golden State looks to rebound on Tuesday when they take on the Mavericks in Dallas. GAME RECAP
WILD WILD WEST
Never before has a team with 50 or more wins missed the playoffs, but as the regular season winds down, the more it seems like that is all about to change. As of Monday afternoon, only four games separate the fifth and ninth place teams in the Western Conference, and there’s a chance there could be a four-way tie for sixth place following Tuesday’s game. While the West’s superiority over the Eastern Conference as a whole has been well documented, the fact remains that a very good team is going to be left out of the postseason – a fate Golden State would like to avoid a second time after missing the playoffs as a 48-win team in 2007-08.
DRAWING UPON EXPERIENCE
There’s no doubt about it, it’s officially crunch time. With only nine games left on their schedule, the Warriors know it’s now or never if they hope to make it back to the postseason after their memorable run a season ago. The trouble is, they’re not the only ones who feel that way. With the conference as closely stacked as it is, there’s relatively little to zero room for error, and how a team responds to that can often be the deciding factor in who moves on and who stays home. Luckily, the Dubs can draw upon their experience from last year’s playoffs, when time after time the odds were stacked against them, and yet they prevailed over numerous substantial obstacles. For instance, many counted the Warriors out when David Lee went down with a torn hip flexor in Game 1 of the first round series against the Nuggets, but they didn’t hang their heads. They adapted, and found a different way to defeat a tough opponent. With both David Lee and Andrew Bogut currently injured and unlikely to play in Tuesday’s game, the Dubs are now in a similar situation. Luckily they’ve been there before, and that experience should serve them well during this crucial stretch of games.
DALLAS SCOUTING REPORT
In many ways, you could replace all Warriors-related references in the paragraph above with those of the Mavericks, and it would still ring true. Dallas is a veteran, battle-tested team with some championship experience, and is no stranger to the pressure of a postseason race. Steadied by their future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks have more than enough talent to make it to the playoffs, but it certainly won’t be easy. Tuesday’s matchup will be one of several similar contests to come in the short future in which they’re pitted against a team they’re in direct competition with for one of those final spots in the West. Both sides can do themselves a huge favor with a victory on Tuesday night, and the intensity level of the game should indicate that.
GSW: David Lee (strained right hamstring) and Andrew Bogut (pelvis/groin contusion) are TBD... Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out... Nemanja Nedovic and Ogjnen Kuzmic are on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.