The Warriors will be without Andre Iguodala when they conclude their two-game road trip Tuesday night in Dallas with brother-against-brother competition in a game with playoff implications.
While Stephen Curry and the Warriors are chasing the No. 1 overall seed, younger brother Seth Curry and the Mavericks are simply hoping to slip into the postseason.
The Warriors (56-14) have rebounded from a stretch during which they lost five of seven to won their last four games, including a 111-95 bashing of the Thunder Monday night in Oklahoma City.
Though the Mavericks (30-39) have made considerable progress after going 9-23 over the first two months, they remain 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Warriors by 5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Zaza Pachulia & Co. vs. Dirk Nowitzki: Though he has missed 26 games with injuries or other reasons associated with being 38 years old, Nowitzki remains among the game's most dangerous shooters. The 7-footer is playing center, sort of a stretch-5, which means Pachulia will be among several defenders, including Draymond Green, David West and maybe Matt Barnes. The clear upside for the Warriors is that Nowitzki is a profoundly ineffective defender.
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Andre Iguodala (L hip strain) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Mavericks: No injuries listed.
Warriors: 6-4. Mavericks: 6-4.
The Warriors have won the last five meetings, including the first two this season, and have prevailed in 12 of the last 13.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
WARRIORS ROTATIONS: Iguodala is among the NBA's top sixth men. His absence creates a large vacuum, for he typically is the first player off the bench and the one who spends the most time with the starters, particularly in the fourth quarter of close games. This could mean more minutes for Shaun Livingston, who is slumping, as well as Barnes. It surely means a different look for the Warriors.
THE CURRYS: There will be moments when the two will square off, much as they did in their backyard while growing up. After stints with four other teams, Seth Curry appears to have found his NBA home. He has been crucial to the Mavs' recovery this season; they're 12-3 when he scores at least 18 points. This will not matter when he's one-on-one with his big brother, who happens to be a two-time MVP. Brotherly love will take a 48-minute hiatus.
THE PACE GAME: The Warriors are a go-go team, the Mavs a go-slow bunch, ranking 29th in pace and dead last in made field goals. Dallas is the only team in the NBA averaging less than 100 points per game. The Mavs keep the turnovers low, but if the Warriors are able to own the glass (the Mavericks are last in rebounding), they should be able to punish Dallas in transition.