The Warriors held a 19-point advantage early in the fourth quarter, but then went cold down the stretch in Sunday’s 107-101 loss to the visiting Mavericks.
After the Warriors held the lead for the first three and a half quarters of the game, the Mavericks surged ahead with a 26-1 run, most of which was done with their star player, Luka Doncic, on the bench. Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith gave the Mavs their first lead of the game with a tip-in at the 3:21 mark of the fourth quarter. Dallas newcomer Spencer Dinwiddie played a key role in that fourth quarter run, and his 3-pointer with 1:43 left in the period put the Mavericks up by six.
Andrew Wiggins would end a Warriors stretch of eight-and-a-half minutes without a made field goal and Stephen Curry made a late 3-pointer, but it was too little, too late for the Dubs, who were outscored 33-13 in the final period.
“We did not maintain our grit coming down the stretch. We just let the momentum get away from us,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s a good lesson for us. NBA games can turn on a dime. It happens quickly and you got to be able to withstand that. We’ve got to do a better job of executing under pressure and maintaining confidence.”
The disappointing finish spoiled what was a brilliant start for the Warriors. They shot 58.3 percent from the floor and made six 3-pointers in the opening period. Eight of the nine Warriors players who played in the opening period scored, and five different players made a 3-pointer. Andrew Wiggins led the way early, scoring 11 of his 18 points in the opening period.
The Warriors didn’t have a turnover through the first 10 minutes of the game, and they turned Dallas’ miscues into nine points off turnovers, helping the Warriors to lead by as many as 18 points in the first quarter.
But after that, offense was ward to come by for the Dubs. Over the final three quarters, they shot 25-for-67 (37 percent) from the floor, including 5-for-28 (18 percent) on 3-pointers.
Coming off a season-high 14 assists on Thursday, Stephen Curry posted another double-double on Sunday with 27 points and 10 assists. The 2022 All-Star MVP had it humming early on in the third quarter, finding Kevon Looney with some nifty passes to set up shots at the rim. And after getting his shot blocked earlier on in the possession, Curry dribbled into a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock buzzer and give the Warriors a 21-point-lead, their largest of the game, with 8:25 left in the period.
That shot seemed like it could have buried Dallas, but it wound up doing just the opposite. The Mavericks outscored the Warriors 22-9 for the remainder of the period, setting up their big fourth quarter run.
Klay Thompson sat out Sunday’s game due to a non-COVID related illness. Warriors rookie Moses Moody started in his place, finishing with five points and five rebounds. Thompson is the latest member of the Warriors’ Championship core to miss time, as Draymond Green (lower back/disc injury) and Andre Iguodala (lower back tightness) remain sidelined. On the positive side, Green did participate in his first practice since early January on Saturday.
“He looked great, physically,” Kerr said. “So that's a very positive step for him and we'll go from here.”
After splitting their first two games coming out of the All-Star break, the Warriors will open a four-game road trip on Tuesday in Minnesota. The trip will also feature a rematch with Dallas and dates with the Lakers and Nuggets.
More Notables ...
- The Warriors dropped their second consecutive home game, falling to 26-7 at Chase Center this season, retaining the NBA’s top home record… It marked the first time this season the Warriors lost two straight at home.
- Golden State trails Dallas 2-1 in the season series… They meet for the fourth and final time in Dallas on Thursday, March 3.
- The Warriors led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter and went on to lose, marking the largest lost fourth quarter lead in the NBA this season (ESPN Stats & Info)… Golden State’s largest lead was 21 points, marking its first loss in regulation after leading by more than 20 points in a regular season game for the first time since Nov. 14, 2007 against the Pistons (111-104)… The Warriors blew 31-point lead in regulation to the Clippers in a 2019 playoff game (ESPN Stats & Info).
- Dallas shot 50 percent from the field, marking only the sixth time this season the Warriors allowed an opponent 50 percent-or-better from the field (2-4 in those contests).
- Golden State blocked a season-low tying two shots (done nine times).
- Tonight marked the Warriors’ 410th consecutive sellout.
- Kevon Looney recorded his 17th game of 10-plus rebounds… His five assists were one shy of his career-high total (six on 1/1/22 at UTA).
- Gary Payton II started his third-straight game and 12th of the season… He is averaging 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists as a starter this season.