Golden State Warriors blow out Dallas Mavericks, might not be worst team ever

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 23: Harrison Barnes
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 23: Harrison Barnes /

The Golden State Warriors returned to .500 after defeating the Dallas Mavericks 133-103.

The Golden State Warriors might not be the worst team in the league. It turns out, they could be pretty good. They showed that after using a big second half to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 133-103. They are now 2-2.

The most drama Golden State faced actually happened hours before the game when Stephen Curry’s availability hung in the balance. After his mouthguard incident in the loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, it was clear that the NBA was going to dish out some punishment. Because the projectile didn’t hit an official and Curry’s intent couldn’t be determined, he was hit with the maximum fine of $50,000.

Curry would go on to have another magnificent game. He played just 31 minutes and scored 29 points–it was almost 30 points, but a late third quarter jump shot was reviewed and changed from a three-pointer to a two-pointer. He also added eight assists and four steals, though he did turn the ball over six times. Curry didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from deep, but he got to the line at a high rate, knocking down all 13 of his free throw attempts.

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The Warriors’ effort level fluctuated throughout the game. Early on, it was clear that they were taking out the frustrations from the previous game out on the Mavericks. They scored 40 points in the first quarter and built a double-digit lead.

As they have all year, however, Golden State took its foot off the gas in the second quarter. They didn’t match the energy that the Mavericks brought. Dallas was quicker to every loose ball, turned defense into quick offense, and moved the ball around to get open shots.

JJ Barea had 13 points and 8 assists in 26 minutes off the bench. Golden State couldn’t really defend him. More notably, they didn’t do anything to make him uncomfortable on the other end of the floor where he gives up significant height to nearly every player in the NBA.

The Warriors held onto a narrow three point lead after gaining a lead that increased to as much as 18 points at one point. Curry helped salvage the end of the second quarter. And he had them prepared for the third.

The Dubs outscored the Mavs by 12 in the third quarter. They increased their defensive intensity and attacked the many liabilities Dallas has on the other end. They finally looked like the team we know that they are.

Kevin Durant returned to form. He had 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists while making four of his six three-pointers. Most importantly, he cut down his turnovers and only gave the ball away twice.

Durant’s +25 performance was contrasted with Harrison Barnes’ dismal -20. He had 13 points and seven rebounds, a stat line that would work as the fourth option on a team. It doesn’t fly when you’re getting paid maximum money and you’re expected to take the keys to the franchise, especially when those keys had been held by Dirk Nowitzki.

The play of the game came late in the fourth quarter, long after the starters had been taken out. Rookie Jordan Bell blocked a three-point attempt. JaVale McGee slapped the loose ball ahead to Bell, who then threw the ball of the backboard for a self alley-oop. It was absolutely filthy.

It was a nice win for Golden State, but the team has yet to put out an entire 48-minute effort. The Warriors return home to take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.