Stephen Curry, Warriors Use Balanced Offense to Knock Off Luka Doncic, Mavericks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 26, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 25: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks plays defense as Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during the game  on January 25, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are back on track.

After an inconsistent nine-game stretch that saw them go 3-6, the Warriors extended their winning streak to three with a 130-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Tuesday's potential playoff preview at Chase Center.

Stephen Curry led the way in a balanced attack as Golden State improved to 35-13 on the campaign.

Golden State Warriors @warriors

And that's a W <a href="https://t.co/LfvsLfF389">pic.twitter.com/LfvsLfF389</a>

Luka Doncic played well in defeat for the Mavericks, who fell to 27-21 and were unable to build on their recent momentum that included 11 wins in the previous 13 games.

Notable Player Stats

  • Stephen Curry, G, GS: 18 PTS, 9 REB, 7 AST
  • Klay Thompson, G, GS: 15 PTS, 6 AST, 2 REB
  • Jonathan Kuminga, F, GS: 22 PTS, 5 REB
  • Nemanja Bjelica, F, GS: 10 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL
  • Jordan Poole, G, GS: 17 PTS, 3 AST, 2 REB
  • Luka Doncic, G, DAL: 25 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST

Balanced Effort Leads Warriors to Easy Win

The Warriors are championship contenders, but they looked like anything but that when they managed just 82 points against the Mavericks during a loss on Jan. 5 in their last meeting. Even without Klay Thompson, it was a stunning offensive showing for a team with Curry.

He shot an ugly 5-of-24 from the field in that one and has struggled with his shot throughout the month of January. The two-time MVP adjusted by getting inside the lane more during the first half and helping stake the Warriors to a 12-point intermission lead by making all four of his early two-point attempts.

It was far from a one-man show as Golden State seized control with Thompson heating up from deep, Otto Porter Jr. and Andrew Wiggins contributing on the wing and multiple bench pieces providing a spark.

Golden State Warriors @warriors

Steph. is. everywhere. πŸ‘€ <a href="https://t.co/E7pLq3I0JB">pic.twitter.com/E7pLq3I0JB</a>

Golden State Warriors @warriors

out here ballin'<br><br>πŸ“Ί <a href="https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBAonTNT</a> <a href="https://t.co/VA0MlNyo7e">pic.twitter.com/VA0MlNyo7e</a>

Golden State Warriors @warriors

KT behind the back to a Wiggs and-1?! <br><br>Must see TV.<br><br>πŸ“Ί <a href="https://twitter.com/NBAonTNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBAonTNT</a> <a href="https://t.co/M5OcK7pQyG">pic.twitter.com/M5OcK7pQyG</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Klay is HEATING UP in the 2nd quarter πŸ”₯ <br><br>Three 3-pointers in a row <a href="https://t.co/22mxNODluX">pic.twitter.com/22mxNODluX</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Jonathan Kuminga HAMMERS it down πŸ‘€ <a href="https://t.co/GUptutw4Bj">pic.twitter.com/GUptutw4Bj</a>

Jordan Poole taking control of the secondary unit was anything but a surprise, but Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga and Damion Lee all got in the mix, while Gary Payton II added some solid defense.

About the only thing that went wrong for the Warriors as they extended their lead in the second half was Curry's continued struggles from deep, but he impacted the game in other ways by rebounding, facilitating and beating defenders off the dribble. He also didn't have to take over with so many other players contributing.

Whether it was Thompson dishing a behind-the-back pass to Wiggins for an and-1 in transition or Poole putting the offense on his back for stretches, Golden State put on a show and kept Dallas at arm's length throughout the second half.

The fourth quarter was nothing more than a formality, but the home team still had some fun in front of its fans with Kuminga throwing down multiple dunks and draining threes as one of seven Warriors to score in double figures in an impressive victory.

Luka's Scoring Not Enough for Mavs

Dallas entered Tuesday's contest playing as well as almost anyone in the league, but it did lose to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday in a missed opportunity to prove itself against one of the top teams in the league.

This matchup with the Warriors was another chance to do just that, and Doncic was ready for the challenge. The problem was, not many other Mavericks were in the early going.

That is how they fell behind by double digits in the first half even though Doncic poured in 21 points by intermission. The star guard also battled down low for boards and did everything he could to keep the visitors within striking distance, but Jalen Brunson was the only other starter with more than five points in the first half.

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

Long range Luka <a href="https://twitter.com/AcmeBrick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AcmeBrick</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MFFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MFFL</a> <a href="https://t.co/xGh36TfHpB">pic.twitter.com/xGh36TfHpB</a>

Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs

Count that 😀 <a href="https://t.co/E9mnNOrRoe">pic.twitter.com/E9mnNOrRoe</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

KP got ejected after kicking the ball 😳 <a href="https://t.co/naV9auyaf9">pic.twitter.com/naV9auyaf9</a>

Kristaps Porzingis struggled to establish any type of rhythm as Golden State hounded his shots, while Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only bench player who was a factor against a deep opponent who took advantage of the matchup between the secondary groups.

Hardaway's fast start came to a screeching halt, though, when the Mavericks announced he suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal on his left foot. The injury was more important than one single game, but it left Doncic with even less help as Dallas fell behind by 20 points in the third quarter.

Doncic's play remained the only notable silver lining for a team that was nearly unrecognizable compared to the one that had played so well of late. The rest of the Mavericks shot an ugly 6-of-33 (18.2 percent) from deep and failed to provide their superstar with the same level of help Golden State gave Curry.

The frustration was never more apparent than when Porzingis dropped a pass in transition for a turnover instead of an easy dunk and kicked the ball into the stands in the fourth quarter. He was ejected from a game that was essentially already decided, which further moved Dallas' concern from fleeting comeback hopes to Hardaway's status.

What's Next?

The Mavericks remain on the road to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, while the Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday.