Highlights: Warriors erase 18-point deficit to beat Mavs
Draymond Green played 28 terrific minutes on a bum ankle, finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and two blocks and a steal. (AP)
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OAKLAND – Elite teams don't make a habit of snoozing through the first half, making opponents look like champions, only to arrive just in time to make the game interesting.
It is a perfect formula for inconsistent results and mediocre season.
And it's a formula that Warriors can't seem to shake.
"We have to stop,'' forward Draymond Green said. "We can't continue to get behind like that and continue to try to come back and win.''
They got away with their latest daredevil act, overcoming their own early ineptitude before waking up to assemble a brilliant finish that concluded with a 95-93 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Stephen Curry's game-winning jump shot with three seconds remaining (though the clock showed 1.5 seconds) punctuated yet another stirring comeback.
The Warriors trailed by a much as 18 points in the first half and as much as 12 in the fourth quarter. They were missing easy shots, with as much careless offense as there was sloppy defense.
And then came the frenzy. Down by 82-72 with eight minutes to play, forward Harrison Barnes interrupted his miserable night with a running hook shot. The Warriors then cranked up the defense. Barnes dropped in two free throws to cut it six. A Curry 3-pointer – off a phenomenal crosscourt pass from Green – made it 82-79 with 5:35 play.
Game on. Suddenly, the Warriors were alive and thriving. The Mavericks, in control up to that point, behind Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, began to wheeze. The sellout crowd at Oracle was roaring.
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"It was a huge night – Dub Nation night,'' Curry said. "We know how important they are to our success when we play here at home, bringing that noise and that energy and that passion.''
And you just know this game was going to the Warriors, just as their last home game had – the game against Toronto in which they trailed by 27 and somehow came back to win.
Curry, who finished with 33 points, capped a 10-0 run with another trey, tying the game 82-82 with 5:09 left. Dallas fired back, taking a 92-86 lead with 1:26 to go.
But the Mavs never scored again. Curry was fouled on 3-point make and converted a 4-point play. A Barnes steal led to a go-ahead 3-pointer by Green with 49.9 seconds left, giving the Warriors their first lead since the seventh minute of the game.
Ellis missed split a pair of free throws with 46.8 seconds left, completing the Dallas scoring. He later missed a jumper that Curry rebounded, setting up his game-winner.
This is not how coach Mark Jackson is drawing it up. He's pleading for tighter defense, believing it will lead to easier offense on nights when the shots aren't falling early. The Warriors shot 25 percent in the first quarter and missed their first three shots in the fourth.
The comebacks, however, are an indicator of this team's resolve.
"It talks about our character and it makes a statement – more of a statement than we could ever make with our mouths,'' Jackson said. "We are not happy being in these situations, but we are a team with plenty of fight and high character.
"We are not going to quit, even when we dig ourselves a hole like we did tonight.''
THE GOOD: Curry's 24-point second half, particularly his 16 in the fourth quarter and the game-winner. Accounting for eight turnovers through three quarters, he had zero in the fourth.
Andrew Bogut grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds and did a lot of little things that don't show up in the box score.
Green played 28 terrific minutes on a bum ankle, finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and two blocks and a steal. The Warriors don't win without him.
THE BAD: Starting forwards David Lee and Barnes combined for 13-of-32 shooting, including some maddening misses within the shadow of the rim. Klay Thompson had a dreadful night: 11 points, 3-of-14 shooting and four turnovers.
THE TAKE: The slow starts continue to make winning difficult. And with a team as thin as the Warriors, it only exacerbates the fatigue factor. Comebacks take extra energy. The Warriors som