All-Star Stephen Curry was able to give coach Mark Jackson the best birthday gift he could ask for – an overtime 122-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
This was just another example of how the Golden State Warriors (46-28) continue to find a way to win no matter the odds. The Warriors were extremely shorthanded again as David Lee and Andrew Bogut remained sidelined with lower body injuries. Jermaine O’Neal, Jordan Crawford, and Draymond Green were asked to step up again, and they delivered. O’Neal dropped in 20 points and eight rebounds, Crawford scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting from the floor, and Green nearly grabbed a triple-double.
But the “Splash Brothers” were not to be outdone as Klay Thompson led the scoring charge with 27 points, and Curry finished with 23 points and ten assists.
Coach Jackson after the game commented, “Curry’s shot looked good all the way. The guys knew what this game meant, and it took everything from the team to pull off this win.”
The game was a complete thriller from the opening tip to the final buzzer.
The Warriors came out hot and took an early 30-21 lead after the first quarter on hot shooting from Curry and O’Neal.
The second quarter was a different story as the Mavericks found their shooting touch with Dirk Nowitzki putting up 16 points in the quarter. The Mavs took a nine-point lead heading into the break.
Jackson stressed pressure defense, and the Warriors came out strong in the third quarter, holding the Mavs to just 32% shooting and were able to take a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The final frame saw back-and-forth action, as neither team backed down. Both teams had chances to take the lead at the end of the game but neither could finish the deal, and the game headed to overtime.
In OT, the Mavs took a late 120-118 lead when guard Jose Calderon hit a long-range three-point jumper. The Warriors were able to tie it at 120 with a dunk from O’Neal, leading to one of the biggest defensive stops of the season.
The game seemed destined to head for another overtime until Curry took control of the game, and he stepped back to hit a fall-away jumper for the win.
Nowitzki led the Mavs offensive effort with 33 points and 11 rebounds, and former Warrior Monta Ellis added 27 points in the losing effort.
The Warriors will travel to San Antonio on Wednesday night to do battle with the scorching hot Spurs who have won their past 18 contests.
Notes: The Warriors won the season series over the Mavs 3-1 and now hold the playoff tiebreaker….Lee is still listed as questionable for the game in San Antonio…. The Warriors have won only once in San Antonio since 1997.