Monte Poole

Instant Replay: Warriors manhandle Mavs, win fifth straight

Instant Replay: Warriors manhandle Mavs, win fifth straight

BOX SCORE

The Warriors don’t know exactly when Kevin Durant will return to the lineup, but they seem to have figured out how to excel without him.

And on Tuesday night, for the first time this season, they found a way to win without Andre Iguodala.

Behind stellar shooting and tight defense, the Warriors won their fifth consecutive game, running away from the Mavericks for a 112-87 victory at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by Klay Thompson’s 23 points. Ian Clark tossed in 18 points, Stephen Curry 17 and Pat McCaw added 10 as the Warriors defeated Dallas for the sixth consecutive time and the 13th of 14.

The Warriors (57-14) got a big boost from their bench, which outscored the Dallas reserves 49-36.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points to lead Dallas (30-40), which took a blow to its playoff hopes. Seth Curry put in 10 points for the Mavericks.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Thompson’s shooting was superb, as was Draymond Green’s all-around game.

Thompson’s line: 23 points (9-of-15 from the field, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc), three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-17 for the game.

It was Thompson’s seventh consecutive game with at least 20 points.

Green’s line: Seven point (2-of-6, 1-of-4 from deep, 2-of-2 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and stellar defense on Harrison Barnes (2 points), Dirk Nowitzki and anyone else who got in the way. Green played 28 minutes and was plus-21.

TURNING POINT:
After the Mavericks went up 37-32 on a jumper by Nowitzki with 9:37 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a searing 28-7 run to go up 60-44 on a Thompson 3-pointer with 55.4 seconds remaining in the half.

Clark, who scored 8 of the 28 points during the run, had 10 for the quarter.

The Warriors took a 62-50 lead into the half, and the Mavericks got no closer than 13 in the second half.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Andre Iguodala (L hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Mavericks: No injuries listed. C A.J. Hammons and F Jarrod Uthoff were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors return to action Friday night at Oracle Arena, where they play host to the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

 

NBA Gameday: Curry brotherly love takes a hiatus for 48 minutes

NBA Gameday: Curry brotherly love takes a hiatus for 48 minutes

The Warriors will be without Andre Iguodala when they conclude their two-game road trip Tuesday night in Dallas with brother-against-brother competition in a game with playoff implications.

While Stephen Curry and the Warriors are chasing the No. 1 overall seed, younger brother Seth Curry and the Mavericks are simply hoping to slip into the postseason.

The Warriors (56-14) have rebounded from a stretch during which they lost five of seven to won their last four games, including a 111-95 bashing of the Thunder Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Though the Mavericks (30-39) have made considerable progress after going 9-23 over the first two months, they remain 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia & Co. vs. Dirk Nowitzki: Though he has missed 26 games with injuries or other reasons associated with being 38 years old, Nowitzki remains among the game’s most dangerous shooters. The 7-footer is playing center, sort of a stretch-5, which means Pachulia will be among several defenders, including Draymond Green, David West and maybe Matt Barnes. The clear upside for the Warriors is that Nowitzki is a profoundly ineffective defender.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Andre Iguodala (L hip strain) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Mavericks: No injuries listed.

LAST 10

Warriors: 6-4. Mavericks: 6-4.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last five meetings, including the first two this season, and have prevailed in 12 of the last 13.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

WARRIORS ROTATIONS: Iguodala is among the NBA’s top sixth men. His absence creates a large vacuum, for he typically is the first player off the bench and the one who spends the most time with the starters, particularly in the fourth quarter of close games. This could mean more minutes for Shaun Livingston, who is slumping, as well as Barnes. It surely means a different look for the Warriors.

THE CURRYS: There will be moments when the two will square off, much as they did in their backyard while growing up. After stints with four other teams, Seth Curry appears to have found his NBA home. He has been crucial to the Mavs’ recovery this season; they’re 12-3 when he scores at least 18 points. This will not matter when he’s one-on-one with his big brother, who happens to be a two-time MVP. Brotherly love will take a 48-minute hiatus.

THE PACE GAME: The Warriors are a go-go team, the Mavs a go-slow bunch, ranking 29th in pace and dead last in made field goals. Dallas is the only team in the NBA averaging less than 100 points per game. The Mavs keep the turnovers low, but if the Warriors are able to own the glass (the Mavericks are last in rebounding), they should be able to punish Dallas in transition.

Turned up another notch, Warriors-OKC rivalry isn't going away anytime soon

Turned up another notch, Warriors-OKC rivalry isn't going away anytime soon

Having beaten the Clippers into relative harmlessness, the Warriors have moved on to a new antagonist. It’s abundantly clear that team is the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The animosity generated during the 2016 Western Conference Finals was cranked up to outright bitterness when Kevin Durant left OKC last July to join the Warriors. Eight months later, the blood of competitive warfare runs rampant through the veins of both rosters.

The latest came Monday night, late in the second quarter of a 111-95 Warriors victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

While the players were positioning for a jump ball between Warriors forward Andre Iguodala and Thunder forward Taj Gibson, Stephen Curry’s attempt to step in front of OKC guard Semaj Christon was met with a push from Christon. Curry pushed back, after which Thunder guard Russell Westbrook stepped in front of Christon and gave Curry a shove.

“I was just trying to get in between Russ and (Christon),” Curry told reporters in Oklahoma City. “And I felt him push me. I kind of let that first one go, then as I kept going there was another little push. And at that point, I just wanted to hold my position.”

Westbrook, naturally, saw things differently.

“Curry tried to get into it with Semaj, tried to push him,” he said. “And I stepped right between, and that’s it. Once I see something going down with my teammates, I’m hopping in.”

As words were exchanged, Curry confronted Westbrook and within seconds, a scrum had formed near the OKC bench. There were no punches, but Draymond Green went after Westbrook and Christon in an effort to shoo them away.

With Gibson standing in the middle of it all, playing peacemaker with his arms around Curry, coaches and security personnel from both teams stepped onto the court to separate the players.

Order was restored, in part because Zaza Pachulia whisked Curry away from the crowd while referee Eric Lewis turned away Westbrook.

Double technical fouls were assessed, first to Curry and Christon and then to Green and Westbrook.

“Nothing surprises me at this point, when it comes to anything like that,” Green said of being hit with the technical foul. “I actually knew it was going to happen. I didn’t do any thing. But I knew it. If I’m anywhere in the area, it’s expected.”

Play resumed with the jump ball with 5.3 seconds left in the half. As the ball was tapped toward the Thunder bench, it was gathered by Klay Thompson, who flung it to Curry, who grabbed it and, without dribbling, launched and drained a 30-footer as the buzzer sounded.

To punctuate the theatrics, Curry broke into a full sprint toward the locker room the instant the ball went through the net to give the Warriors a 59-39 lead at the half.

“That was dope,” Green said. “A heads-up play by Klay, to get the pass out to Steph, and a great shot.”

There were other moments when things turned testy, suggesting that these teams are competing beyond the game.

They are. It’s about last May, when OKC took a 3-1 series lead and the Warriors came back to win in seven. It’s about last July, when Durant made his seismic move. It’s about Pachulia’s iron screen on Westbrook earlier this season that prompted the OKC guard vow revenge.

It’s also about the natural rivalry between point guards Curry and Westbrook, something Westbrook inflamed as recently as last week. That’s not going away any time soon.

Neither is the Warriors-Thunder beef, which very easily to live as long as Durant is wearing either jersey.