Following a clutch victory on Saturday in Minnesota, led by a pull-up three pointer under 30 seconds to go by Luka, the Mavs looked to build on their winning streak tonight against the champs at home. A wire-to-wire game for most of the night, the Warriors outlasted the Mavs 119-114 in part to a clutch three pointer by Steph Curry in the final minute.
With J.J. Barea rupturing his Achilles on Saturday, that sure changes a lot for Rick Carlisle and the Mavs. Barea was the coach on the floor and leader for the second unit. With him out for the rest of the season, adjustments were sure to be made.
Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris reaped the benefit of the gained playing time with a combined 21 points in extended minutes of action, specifically for Brunson who played 29 minutes.
Carlisle said before the game, “Brunson, who’s been ready all year, will step forward.” And step forward he did and will continue to do so. Rick has harped on his high confidence and wanting to get the rookie more minutes all season long.
“They both did well. I thought Harris gave us a huge lift in the fourth,” Carlisle said of Harris’ minutes. “Brunson did a lot of good things. He’s getting some crunch time minutes in the NBA so he’ll learn a lot in a short period of time.”
“Jalen plays wise beyond his years and has a lot of experience,” Dirk said post game about the rookie point guard.
Along with the allocation of Barea’s minutes was the adjustment of playing some guys in shorter stints, including Luka and Maxi Kleber. We’ll see what lineup adjustments continue as the season goes on.
Fumble down the stretch
The Mavs held a five-point lead with under four minutes to go following three made free throws by Harrison Barnes. Yet, that lead didn’t last as the champs did what the champs do and that’s win close games.
Steph Curry hit a go-ahead three from the top of the key to give the Warriors a 117-114 lead.
Following a timeout by Dallas, Jalen Brunson had a layup blocked at the rim followed by a Harrison Barnes turnover as he fumbled the ball out of bounds with five seconds remaining.
“You gotta have a short memory and you gotta squash it and move on,” Carlisle on Barnes’ late turnover. “Look, mistakes happen and you just gotta stick to the process.”
To win games against the champs, you can’t have these mishaps happen with under a minute to play.
It’s that simple. Curry scored 48 points on 11 made three pointers, including the shot that clinched the game. No matter what defender the Mavs threw at him tonight, Curry found a way to get open or create his own shot, as he does against every team in the league.
“We just couldn’t get Curry in control. He was brilliant, he was brilliant,” Carlisle said of Curry’s performance.
Not to be overlooked, Kevin Durant had himself a quiet 28 points along with seven rebounds and five assists.
“They have some of the greatest shooters this league has ever seen so you just got to stay positive about it and we talk about it every time, take the ball out, push it right back at them, and try to get a good look,” Dirk on playing the Warriors.
The Mavs will have an off day tomorrow before preparing to take on the Spurs on Wednesday night at the AAC.
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