The Warriors were as good or better than the Dallas Mavericks in most every facet of the game Sunday, yet the defending champions sweated out the entire 48 minutes.
With Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant combining for 76 points, Golden State squeaked out a 119-114 victory at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Here three takeaways from the third Warriors-Mavericks game this season that went down to the final minute:
The Curry-Durant duo brought the buckets: Curry scored 48 points on 17-of-32 shooting, including 11-of-19 from deep. He buried a crucial 3-pointer with 42.2 seconds remaining that gave the Warriors the lead for good.
This is the third game this season in which Curry drilled at least 10 triples. He has over the course of his career has made at least 10 in 12 games. Nobody else has more than four, that being teammate Klay Thompson.
Durant totaled 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, draining 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. He added seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal.
The only other Warrior to score in double figures was Thompson, who finished with 16 points.
Bench delivers a tutorial on efficiency: The Warriors’ bench has had its ups and downs this season, and it delivered a quality-over-quantity when it was desperately needed.
The five reserves that entered for the Warriors combined to produce 21 points, on 8-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, as well as 21 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks.
Each man brought something. Andre Iguodala had a typical line: six points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Alfonzo McKinnie had 10 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes, Jonas Jerebko grabbed eight rebounds in 14 minutes, Shaun Livingston got a key fourth-quarter steal and Jordan Bell blocked a couple shots.
The rebounding was particularly notable, as Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan only yanked down 14 while Dallas won the overall glass battle 51-49.
Luka Doncic, still good: After the Warriors beat the Mavericks on Dec. 22 at Oracle Arena, Draymond Green offered this instant analysis of rookie Luka Doncic: “That dude good. He got it. He’s going to be a problem. He’s already a problem.”
Three weeks later, Doncic still is good – and was a problem for the Warriors on Sunday.
Doncic, now starting at point guard, gave the Mavericks 26 points, five assists and six rebounds. He has mastered the step-back 3 and his court generalship is impressive, nothing short of amazing for a 19-year-old.
The Mavericks are hanging around the playoff race. They might get there. If they do, Doncic will be in the middle of things. He’s going to be a problem for the Warriors, and many other teams for the foreseeable future.