The Warriors outlast the Mavericks for perhaps their biggest regular-season win since the Mark Jackson era
There’s an old saying in sports, “It only takes one.” With a 127-125 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Dec Visit Golden State Warriors may have gotten the one they so desperately needed to turn the curve to a postseason run.
As for regular-season wins, they don’t get much bigger than those for a franchise that has won four of the last eight NBA championships. I would perhaps call it their biggest regular-season win since the Mark Jackson era, the last time an honest Warriors title contender missed the playoffs this late in the season.
Make no mistake: The Warriors were, and still are, in legitimate danger of missing the postseason. A loss in Dallas would have put them at the top of the lottery. Instead, the win keeps Golden State above the play-in line and seals the season tiebreak over the Mavericks, which could prove huge if just one loss separates these two in the standings.
Most importantly, the Warriors finally made it on the road, where they have now won back-to-back to take their season away record to a whopping 9-29. This was exactly the kind of road game that the Warriors found a way to lose rather than win all season.
The Warriors are now traveling home from where they were arguably the best team in the league this season for a four-game stretch, starting with a date against Philadelphia on Friday. All in all, five of the last eight are earmarked for the Chase Center. After a loss to the No. 5 Clippers, they are now in control of their own destiny to secure a playoff berth and potentially face the Sacramento Kings in the first round.
All in all, that’s a pretty good position if the Warriors had fallen with a loss in Dallas at the end of the play-in. This too was a huge win. Anything could vibrate.
Or it could mean nothing. It’s up to the Warriors to take this opportunity they’ve given themselves and keep the momentum going. Things are happening when they can that paint an optimistic post-season picture.
Stephen Curry was sensational on Wednesday. It wasn’t an impressive night by Curry’s standards: 20 points on 2-of-8-3-point shooting. The 13 assists are outstanding. Dallas strove to block Curry with multiple defenders from the jump, and Curry never forced his own shot. He was patient all night, getting in the paint and finding teammates all over the place.
Klay Thompson has been his old self for three months. Donte DiVincenzo is a stone off the bench or from the start unless Andrew Wiggins returns. Kevon Looney – I mean what can you say? The guy could end up with a statue outside of the Chase Center. I’m only half joking about it.
Gary Payton II is expected back soon, which in Wiggins’ absence will be a significant boon to Golden State’s rather porous full-back. Jonathan Kuminga has emerged as a key weapon as a rolling athlete along with Curry, a fairly reliable 3-point shooter and tall defender, as we all witnessed in his hunt for Luka Doncic in court on Wednesday.
Anthony Lamb is trustworthy. Jordan Poole can win you a playoff game, if not a series – although he might lose you too. JaMychal Green was amazing in bouts. Draymond is still largely Draymond.
The point is, this Warriors team is far more dangerous than their 38-36 record would suggest. They still have to get in the dance, but assuming they do, a game like Wednesday night, where they didn’t shoot particularly well and didn’t get a big point night from Curry, but still found a way to get through, serves as a loud reminder that the mojo might actually still be there.
A lot of that still depends on Wiggins. If he comes back, the Warriors are an honest title threat. I believe that. But even if he doesn’t, this isn’t a team anyone would want to play against.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/warriors-outlast-mavericks-for-maybe-their-biggest-regular-season-win-since-mark-jackson-era/ The Warriors outlast the Mavericks for perhaps their biggest regular-season win since the Mark Jackson era