Curry scores 48 points in War­riors’ vic­tory.

Du­rant’s 28 help de­feat Don­cic, game Dal­las team

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Con­nor Le­tourneau

DAL­LAS — Sev­eral times dur­ing the War­riors’ team hud­dle Sun­day evening, head coach Steve Kerr called a play for Kevin Du­rant, only for Du­rant to sug­gest: No, let’s flip it. Let’s go through Steph.

Du­rant has played with Stephen Curry long enough to know that, when Curry is in his zone, the best play is to give him the ball. In Golden State’s 119-114 win over the Mav­er­icks at Amer­i­can Air­lines Cen­ter, Curry made Du­rant look wise as he scored a game-high 48 points to push the team’s win­ning streak to four.

In 37 min­utes, Curry toyed with Dal­las,

scor­ing 24 points in each half to mark the 12th time in his ca­reer with 20 points in both halves. His 11 3s were three shy of the NBA record, set by team­mate Klay Thomp­son on Oct. 29 in Chicago. Curry did all of that with­out a turnover.

With 1:39 left, Curry weaved through traf­fic and nailed a shot the of­fi­cial box score aptly dubbed a “13-foot driv­ing float­ing jump shot” to knot the game 114-114. Af­ter Dal­las rookie Luka Don­cic missed a three­p­oint try, Curry stopped at the top of the arc and drilled a 3, si­lenc­ing a ca­pac­ity crowd.

As the Mav­er­icks called time­out, Curry stuck out his tongue, shim­mied to the vis­i­tors’ bench and chest-bumped re­serve guard Quinn Cook. Af­ter exWar­riors for­ward Har­ri­son Barnes lost the ball out of bounds with 6.8 sec­onds left, Curry’s two free throws iced the game and capped an 11-1 gameend­ing run.

“He had mis­matches,” Du­rant said. “He was mak­ing shots over ev­ery­body tonight. Why even run plays when we can just give him the ball?”

In the 24 hours be­fore tip-off Sun­day, the War­riors fielded nu­mer­ous ques­tions about Don­cic. Kerr’s as­ser­tion that Don­cic, 19, should be an Al­lS­tar got trac­tion on social me­dia.

In 32 min­utes Sun­day, Don­cic, a 6-foot-7 swing­man, was mas­ter­ful at times, scor­ing a team-high 26 points and hit­ting five 3s.

“He’s un­be­liev­able,” Curry said. “You can tell he is ex­pe­ri­enced in terms of play­ing high­level bas­ket­ball. He is a guy that is al­ways at his own pace. … He has made him­self known, for sure. It is fun to watch in terms of the fu­ture of the league.”

Added Du­rant: “His poise for the game, his step-back 3 — that’s what he wants to get to most of the time. He’s big and strong, can pass, can play in the pick-and-roll. … You can tell that he’s not shy, he’s not afraid of the mo­ment. He’s go­ing to be a force.”

But for all of Don­cic’s bril­liance, Dal­las had lit­tle an­swer for Curry and Du­rant.

Du­rant soft­ened up Dal­las’ in­te­rior with re­peated for­ays to the rim. Though he at­tempted only four 3-point­ers, he thrived in the paint, pair­ing his seven re­bounds, five as­sists and two blocks with 28 points.

Out­side of Curry and Du­rant, Golden State scored just 43 points on 18-for-46 shoot­ing. No mat­ter. The War­riors ral­lied past the Mav­er­icks, who trailed by a sin­gle digit most of the night but came back to take five-point leads three times in the fi­nal five min­utes, to es­cape with their sixth win in seven games.

Hav­ing Curry and Du­rant work­ing in lock­step should ease DeMar­cus Cousins’ tran­si­tion.

With Cousins set to make his Golden State de­but Fri­day against the Clip­pers, Kerr re­cently tweaked his ro­ta­tion again, in­sert­ing Curry mid­way through the sec­ond and fourth quar­ters in­stead of hav­ing him start them. The new sub­sti­tu­tion pat­tern max­i­mizes Curry’s time with Du­rant in the third and fourth quar­ters.

“We just felt like with DeMar­cus com­ing back, we’re go­ing to want to look at some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent be­cause of his pres­ence,” Kerr said. “It’ll be eas­ier to make that ad­just­ment off of the cur­rent ro­ta­tion, if that makes sense.”

Richard W. Ro­driguez / As­so­ci­ated Press

Kevin Du­rant high-fives team­mate Stephen Curry near the end of the War­riors’ 119-114 vic­tory over the Mav­er­icks in Dal­las.

Sha­ban Athu­man / TNS / Dal­las Morn­ing News

Down by three points, Dal­las for­ward Har­ri­son Barnes lost the ball out of bounds with 5.8 sec­onds left as he was de­fended by the War­riors’ Kevin Du­rant.

Richard W. Ro­driguez / As­so­ci­ated Press

War­riors for­ward Kevin Du­rant, who scored 28 points, drives past Do­rian Fin­ney-Smith in the first half Sun­day night.

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