Why do the Golden State Warriors insist on playing these nail-biting games?
In a Tuesday night matchup that had huge playoff implications (like every other game from here on out until the playoffs begin) the Warriors were able to pull out another close overtime victory vs the Dallas Mavericks 122-120 in Dallas, on a game winning jump-shot by Stephen Curry with .1 seconds left on the clock.
It was a game of swings during the first three quarters. The Warriors came out of the gate and outscored the Mavericks 30-21 in the first quarter, then the Mavericks responded with an incredible 41-point second quarter to take a 62-53 lead by halftime. The Warriors responded again by scoring 32 points in the 3rd quarter and taking an 85-81 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The forth quarter was even throughout, big shots left and right, the Mavericks rode their two best players Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis for the whole quarter. Taking you to the last two minutes of the game, Dirk Nowitzki was isolated in the post against Warriors’ Draymond Green (who replaced David Lee in the starting lineup due to injury) and Dirk shot his infamous one legged fade-away jumpshot and drilled it to put the Mavericks up 106-102.
With a quick response in mind out of the timeout Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala drilled a three pointer to cut the lead to 106-105. Monta Ellis, who finished the game with 27 points, hit a tough mid-range jumpshot, despite excellent defense from Klay Thompson, to put the Mavericks back up by 3, 108-105. The Warriors, however, came back in response again and Thompson came off of a nice screen by Green and found himself open at the three point line and drilled it to knot it all up at 108-108. After missed opportunities by both teams down the stretch the score stayed the same and headed to overtime.
Overtime was just as hotly contested, Dirk showed why he is one of the greatest players to have ever played, as he scored five points in the period and hit a big three pointer to put the Mavericks up 115-111 at one point, Nowitzki finished the game with 33 points and 11 rebounds. With the Mavericks up 117-113, Klay Thompson again hit a big three pointer to bring the game to 117-116 and following that the Warriors managed to get a much needed defensive stop and Steph Curry hit a mid-range jumpshot in semi-transition to put the Warriors up 118-117.
The Mavericks responded big, after Monta Ellis missed a 10 foot jumper the Mavericks scrambled for the offensive rebound and they managed to find Point-guard Jose Calderon for a big three pointer to give the Mavericks a 120-118 lead with 42 seconds remaining, but the Warriors being in so many close games this season knew how to play in this types of situations. The Warriors responded with a Jermaine O’neal (who continues to start in place of the Andrew Bogut due to injury as well) dunk, that was set-up by a nice dump down pass from Draymond Green to tie it up again at 120-120 13 seconds remaining.
Jermaine O’neal who had 20 points and 8 rebounds (seems to have found the Hot Tub time machine), didn’t stop there. After his game tying dunk, the Mavericks came out of the timeout with a great play that got Monta Ellis open for a wide-open lay-up and Jermaine O’neal came out of nowhere to block the shot, much to dismay of the Dallas crowd who thought it was a goaltending violation.
After opting not to call a timeout, the ball was in the hands of Steph Curry who dribbled down the court and Jose Calderon who hit the big three earlier was caught in a one-on-one battle against the greatest shooter on the planet. After a quick crossover Curry stepped back and drilled a two point jumpshot in Calderon’s face with .1 seconds remaining to give the Warriors the 122-120 win, the Dallas crowd was silent as the Warriors bench erupted screaming “WE OUT, WE OUT”.
“I had missed a couple in regulation and a couple in overtime that I felt were good, so I just knew to keep shooting it, and thankfully it went in,” Curry said.
The Dallas Mavericks (44-31) have now fallen out of the current playoff picture as they are now a half game back of the Memphis Grizzles and Phoenix Suns who both have the 7th and 8th seed respectively.
With this victory the Warriors (46-28) will have a little breathing room holding on to the sixth seed and they are still remain two games behind the Portland Trailblazers for the number five seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors will have to forget this game and turnaround quickly as they face the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night. the Warriors have not beaten San Antonio this season as they are 0-3 in the regular season series.
The Warriors have played in a lot of close games this season, in fact they have played 39 games now were the game is within 5 points with 5 minutes to go in the forth quarter, that is by far the most in the NBA. This is Stephen Curry’s 4th game winner of the season, and his second against the Dallas Mavericks this season.
I hope your heart can take these last couple of games Warrior fans.