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Game Preview: Warriors vs. Mavericks - 12/14/17

MAVS COME TO TOWN
The Warriors welcome the Dallas Mavericks to Oracle Arena Thursday night for their second of nine home games to wrap up 2017. This will be the second of four matchups between these two teams, with each side hosting two at home. The Warriors will look to repeat their success in their first matchup against the Mavs in October, in which they never trailed and won 133-103. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), and fans can watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network. FIND TICKETS

LAST TIME OUT
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson led the way with 28 and 24 points, respectively, as the Dubs held on for a 111-104 win over the Trail Blazers on Monday to push the winning streak to seven games. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW DAL
22-6 8-20
2nd in West 15th in West
PTS: 117 (1st) PTS: 99.9 (27th)
REB: 44.8 (9th) REB: 42 (22nd)
AST: 30.6 (1st) AST: 21.2 (22nd)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Shaun Livingston, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Omri Casspi and Jordan Bell
DAL: Yogi Ferrell, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Maximilian Kleber and Dirk Nowitzki

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Draymond Green (right shoulder soreness), Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness), Nick Young (concussion) and Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) are out. Damian Jones is on G League assignment. Team Notes
DAL: Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia), Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis), Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury), Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) and Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) are out. Team Notes

SEASON-LONG BLOCK PARTY
When it comes to blocking shots, the Warriors are on a roll. After leading the league in shot blocking a season ago, the Dubs have been even better in that area this year, particularly as of late. Golden State blocked nine shots in their win over Portland on Monday, which came on the heels of consecutive victories over the Pistons and Hornets, in which the Warriors collected 15 and 12 blocks, respectively. The 15 blocks against Detroit represented a season-high, and Golden State now sits atop the NBA with an average of 8.7 blocks per contest, the second-highest per game average in league history behind the 1985-86 Washington Bullets. The Warriors have totaled 74 more blocks than the next closest team (San Antonio), who have in turn collected 74 more blocks than the Chicago Bulls, who rank 29th in the league in blocks per game. That means that, in terms of shot blocking success, the gap between the Warriors and the next closest team is equal to the gap between the 2nd and second-to-last ranked teams in that same category.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW DAL
PTS: Curry (26.3) PTS: Barnes (18.4)
REB: Green (7.2) REB: Barnes (7.4)
AST: Green (7.3) AST: Barea (5.4)

DALLAS SCOUTING REPORT
The Mavericks’ playoff prospects aren’t looking good at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ve thrown in the towel. At 8-20, they currently sit in last place in the Western Conference, but they are coming off a 95-89 comeback victory over the Spurs on Tuesday. Dallas has been gutted by injuries to several key rotation players, including Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry and their first round pick Dennis Smith Jr. Scoring has been a major problem, as the Mavericks are currently one of only four teams in the NBA averaging fewer than 100 points per game. They’ve been an average defensive team, though, and since they operate at the sixth-slowest pace in the league, they rank ninth in the NBA in opponent scoring per game. As such, you can expect Dallas to try to slow things to a crawl when they take on the Warriors on Thursday, in an effort to try to prevent Golden State from unleashing their league-leading offense.

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