Curry scores 48 points in Warriors’ victory.
Durant’s 28 help defeat Doncic, game Dallas team
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.”
Kevin Durant high-fives teammate Stephen Curry near the end of the Warriors’ 119-114 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas.
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.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant, who scored 28 points, drives past Dorian Finney-Smith in the first half Sunday night.