A seven-game home-stand has started with an 0-2 start for the Golden State Warriors, with the hosts unable to contain a rampant Luka Doncic as the Dallas Mavericks poured in 132 points in their 10-point victory.
Warrior fans were left frustrated with Steve Kerr's method of defense on Doncic, allowing the Slovenian superstar to monopolize the game in recording 39 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.
The Golden State Warriors have fallen to a 15-17 record after a 132-122 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night
Doncic was routinely allowed to take whomever he wished 1-on-1, with the MVP candidate relentlessly exploiting switches onto Golden State big men Trayce Jackson-Davis and Kevon Looney, among others.
He was far from the only Maverick to tear the Warriors apart with Dante Exum continuing his career resurgence with 19 points and five assists, rookie center Dereck Lively II recording a double-double, and Josh Green, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Grant Williams each scoring in double figures off the bench.
Doncic felt at ease from early in the game, allowing Dallas to take control and build an eight-point lead by the end of the opening period. Any Golden State push was met with immediate resistance, with the Mavericks never surrendering the advantage thanks to 55.7% shooting from the floor and 40% from three-point range.
In contrast to Doncic, Warrior superstar Stephen Curry had to fight and claw to get his way to 25 points. The two-time MVP shot 9-of-25 from the floor, including 3-of-10 from inside the arc as he missed a number of gettable layup attempts.
Chris Paul kept Golden State in the game late with a season-high 24 points and six made threes in nine attempts. However, the veteran point-guard's hot shooting was offset by a season-worst performance from Klay Thompson who scored just three points on 1-of-11 shooting.
Thompson wasn't a part of the closing lineup, with Kerr preferring to go with Curry, Paul, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Jackson-Davis. The latter made his first career start in place of Kevon Looney, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal on 8-of-11 shooting.
Kuminga had 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists in his 25 minutes, while Brandin Podziemski had 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists after being removed from the starting lineup for Paul. Wiggins had 14 points, four rebounds and five assists, though he and Kuminga were unable to stop Doncic as the primary defenders on the 24-year-old phenom.
The Warriors have allowed their recent five-game winning streak to go by the wayside, with a three-game losing streak now placing them under serious pressure ahead of a meeting with the impressive Orlando Magic on Tuesday.