To Steve Kerr, Dallas looked like a team in the playoffs while Golden State remained stuck in an exhibition game.
Luka Dončić scored 39 points and the short-handed Mavericks jumped on Golden State from the start to thump the Warriors 133-103 on Tuesday night.
“Biggest game of the year and it was over before it started,” said Kerr, whose team trailed by as many as 43.
Stephen Curry scored 27 points with five more three-pointers, extending his NBA record for three-pointers in a month to 90 in April. He had passed James Harden’s 82 in November 2019 on Sunday.
“Chasing Steph Curry around has got to be the hardest job in all of basketball, pro, college, international, you name it,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “The guy has been on just a tear over the last month. Trey Burke rose to the challenge, he just chased him all over the place and we had plenty of help.”
Tim Hardaway Jr added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench as the Mavericks got 60 points from their reserves a night after losing 113-106 in Sacramento.
Just when the Warriors were determined to gain some momentum for the important stretch run, they delivered a dud and had their four-game home winning streak snapped.
“It was the perfect storm of everything going wrong tonight,” Curry said.
Golden State didn’t defend the perimeter, where the Mavericks shot 18 of 35 on three-pointers.
The Warriors went nine minutes, 40 seconds without scoring spanning the first and second quarters and were just 5 for 27 midway through the second quarter. That drought eventually led to a 47-16 hole.
The Mavericks scored 28 unanswered points during that span, matching the second-biggest scoring run in the NBA over the past two decades, according to Elias Sports Bureau data, surpassed only by a 29-0 run by the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Milwaukee Bucks on 6 December 2009.
The Warriors missed 18 consecutive shots, including nine three-point attempts, and did not attempt a single free throw.
“I’m not concerned about the scoring drought, I’m concerned about defense, I’m concerned about a level of intensity and preparation and competitiveness,” Kerr said. “That’s what was missing. I’m the head coach. I did not have them ready to play, clearly.”
Dončić shot 15 for 23 and added eight assists and six rebounds. Dallas has won seven of nine against Golden State and four in a row on the Warriors’ home floor.
The Mavericks made nine of their initial 15 shots to go ahead 25-12 and force a Golden State timeout at the 4:58 mark of the first.
“It was the complete opposite from yesterday. It was crazy,” Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber said. “They couldn’t make any shots. … I don’t even know how to describe it. We just went with the flow.”
JJ Redick played seven minutes for the Mavericks after being questionable with soreness in his right heel. Boban Marjanovic was ejected with 2:39 left for a Flagrant 2 foul, raising his arms in the air at the crowd as he disappeared down the tunnel.