What do Warriors want from Armstrong? 'Defend, rebound, set screens'
In the Nov. 27 meeting between the Warriors and Mavericks, Klay Thompson scored 20 points on 5-16 shooting, while Monta Ellis scored 4 points (2-16 FG) but dished out 10 assists. (AP)
Programming note: Mavericks-Warriors coverage tips off tonight at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (territorial restrictions apply)
OAKLAND – The Warriors remember the last time they saw the Dallas Mavericks and were unimpressed with the impression they made at American Airlines Center two weeks ago.
The Warriors took a 103-99 loss. Moreover, it was one of those games for which they're becoming infamous insofar as they started sluggishly and were forced to spend the evening playing from behind.
"That game was (reminiscent) of most of our games, even the Toronto game, which we won, where we just didn't start off the game well," Stephen Curry recalled. "They had a double-digit lead in the first quarter. When you allow a team to score pretty easily in the first quarter and get their confidence going, it's tough to shut that down with the talent that plays in the NBA."
With the Warriors sleepwalking on defense in that Nov. 27 game, the Mavericks made seven of their first eight shots. They led by as much as 17 in the second quarter and were able to fend off every Warriors rally.
"If we can hold that percentage down early in the game, have them take and make tough shots, we feel like if we'll be in a better position than we were in Dallas," Curry said.
It wasn't just the accurate early shooting. The Warriors also were sloppy, with 19 turnovers, off which the Mavericks scored 30 points, many on uncontested layups. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green each committed four, and Curry had six.
While the Warriors on that night tipped off less than 24 hours after a narrow win at New Orleans, the locals on Wednesday will have had a day of rest. The Warriors (12-10) lost at Charlotte on Monday, and the Mavericks (13-9) lost at Sacramento on the same night.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
David Lee vs. Dirk Nowitzki
It's a battle of power forwards most comfortable facing the basket and shooting jump shots. Dirk, at 7 feet, is taller but Lee is more likely to attack the basket. They are alike in that both are allergic to defense. If Lee can offset Nowitzki's production, it gives the Warriors a decided edge.
Klay Thompson vs. Monta Ellis
The numbers imply Klay won this battle last month, specifically because of Monta's 2-of-16 shooting. The numbers are somewhat deceptive. Thompson's 20 points came on 5-of-16 shooting. Ex-Warrior Ellis had 10 assists and often disrupted the Warriors' offense. His team also won. Monta, traded away in March 2012, never has lost to his former team.
SERIES HISTORY: The Warriors won two of three over the Mavericks last season, taking the series for the first time since 2007. Their all-time home record against Dallas is 35-33.
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INJURY UPDATE: Green (sprained left ankle) participated in the morning shootaround and is listed as probable. Backup center Jermaine O'Neal (sprained right wrist) did not participate in the shootaround and is listed as questionable. Andre Iguodala (strained left hamstring) did not participate and remains out indefinitely.
For Dallas, guard Devin Harris (toe) and forward Brandan Wright (left shoulder) are out.