© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks are one of the NBA’s most assertive defenders of their home court. The Mavs are 16-5 at home, good for the second-fewest home losses in the Western Conference. But the Golden State Warriors have a man named Wardell Stephen Curry, who happens to be a spectacularly good basketball player. He led the Warriors to a 119-114 win.
Here are three observations from tonight’s game:
“Ascension maintained, Rolling through like a burning flame”
Houston native Erykah Badu sang on her song, “…& On” about having the light, the power of a “supernova star.” That was Steph Curry tonight. Curry dropped 48 points on 17-of-32 shooting and 11-of-19 from 3-point range along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. It’s Curry’s 12th career game of 10-plus 3-pointers, by far the most in NBA history. It’s also the third time Curry has made 10-plus 3-pointers this season.
His 11th 3-pointer was essentially the game winner for the Warriors, and came in classic Curry fashion:
Clutch. Curry. pic.twitter.com/Bf1nPmtQeB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 14, 2019
Curry’s efforts helped the Warriors to their fourth-straight road win and left them tied with the Denver Nuggets for first place in the Western Conference. As Badu sang, “Ascension maintained, Rolling through like a burning flame.”
Durant vs. Doncic
Doncic is a comically talented rookie, that’s no secret. Here are his per-game stats with his ranks among fellow rookies in parentheses: 20 points (1st), 32.1 minutes (1st), 6.7 rebounds (3rd), 5.0 assists (2nd), 1.12 steals (3rd) .368 3-pt percentage (6th).
But Doncic isn’t just talented by rookie standards. He’s near-certain to be an All-Star, and is even a potential captain. LeBron James leads all vote-getters at 2,779,812 votes, while Doncic has shocked some by coming it at second (2,220,077). Behind Doncic is Paul George (1,859,216) and then Durant. (1,717,968).
Tonight, Doncic finished with 26 points (8-of-18, 5-of-10 from 3-pt), 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal, and slammed home this dunk:
— NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2019
He also hit a step-back 3-pointer over Durant, who had 28 points (10-of-21, 2-of-4 from 3-pt), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal:
Mavs announcer says he wants to "see something cool happen"….Luka Doncic then immediately hits deep stepback 3 in Kevin Durant's face. pic.twitter.com/wirxRX1HCk
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 14, 2019
Dallas is a menace on their home floor
The Mavericks are 16-5 at home and they have given the Warriors a serious test on both occasions this season. They refused to allow the Warriors to break away by snagging clutch rebounds and getting to the line on a high rate, especially in the second half. It took an absurd performance from Curry to beat the Mavericks, who went 22-of-29 from the free throw line compared to the 10-of-12 that the Warriors shot.
Aside from that free throw percentage, both teams were almost equal. The Warriors had a better field goal percentage (45.5 percent to 41.8 percent), although that difference was essentially canceled out by the Mavericks’ free throw shooting. Rebounding was almost equal (49 rebounds for the Warriors, 51 for Dallas). But the Warriors made three more 3-pointers (19 to 16) which seemed to be the difference.