Mavericks extend slumping Warriors' road woes
Published: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
DALLAS — Coach Mark Jackson just stood and stared on the sidelines, his expression devoid of emotion as he witnessed his team fall apart in the first half.
He later said the Golden State Warriors wouldn't panic, but they might be alone in that abstention.
After Saturday night's 116-91 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, concluding an 0-4 trip, playoff-thirsty Golden State fans might need some therapy.
“We're fine,” Jackson said. “There's no panic. We lost another game. We didn't play well. We made mistakes. We did not put together 48 minutes of basketball. But there's going to be no panic. We're going to regroup.”
It's not just that the Warriors (30-21) have lost four straight, their longest losing streak of the season. It's how they lost.
They were humiliated in Houston. Outgunned in Oklahoma City. Manhandled in Memphis. To top it off, they got dogged in Dallas. They were outscored by an average of 20.8 points per game on the trip.
Point guard Stephen Curry needed 23 shots to get 18 points and turned it over five times. Forward David Lee had just 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting with six rebounds and three turnovers.
Guard Klay Thompson had another rough outing, totaling 11 points on 14 shots.
The Warriors' offense, which shot just 38.2 percent and had four more turnovers (16) than assists (12), almost looked as bad as their defense. The Mavericks scored 15 points above their average — and that's with Dirk Nowitzki totaling 15 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Forward Shawn Marion scored a season-high 26 points, and the Mavericks backcourt of O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison combined for 37 points on 11-of-22 shooting.
Dallas made 11 of 20 from 3-point range, capping a trip in which the Warriors allowed opponents to shoot 48.5 percent from that distance (50 of 103).
And to think, it looked as if Golden State were getting back on track despite the loss at Memphis a night earlier. The Warriors held the Grizzlies to 36 points on 38.2 percent shooting after halftime to make a game of it. It was the best basketball they'd played on the trip, sparking hope they would right the ship in Dallas.
The Mavericks missed eight of their first 10 shots but closed the quarter by making 9 of 12 from the field to take a 30-16 lead into the second quarter.
Compounding matters was Golden State's dysfunctional offense. At one point, the Warriors missed 11 straight shots. At halftime, they were shooting 30.4 percent with eight turnovers with just five assists — four by Curry, who was 3 of 15 shooting in the first half.
The Warriors got behind by as much as 27 and trailed 62-36 at the break. On the four-game trip, opponents averaged 67.25 points on 54.2 shooting in the first half.
The second half was a formality. Exhausted, discouraged and undermanned, the Warriors could muster only enough fight to get as close as 13 in the third quarter.
“It's tough. We haven't been in this situation all year,” Curry said. “So it's unfamiliar territory. We have to find a way to stay positive and stay in tune with the mission. It's tough to do that on the road when you're losing the way we are.”
Before Warriors fans become despondent, a few perspective checks:
Saturday's loss was the Warriors' fourth game in five nights, so a sluggish outing is understandable. Golden State just concluded a stretch in which it played 10 games in 16 days. Eight of those games were on the road. Five of those road games were against teams that would be in the playoffs if they started today.
Golden State is still nine games over .500. If the Warriors beat Houston at Oracle Arena, they go into the All-Star break at 10 games over .500.
Six of their first eight games after the break are on the road. After that, the Warriors play 17 of their last 22 games at home.
Three of the four losses on this road trip were without backup point guard Jarrett Jack. He missed his third straight game Saturday with a right shoulder contusion. He said he is getting much better but still isn't well enough to play after a hard fall in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's loss at Houston.
Jack has been a pivotal figure in the Warriors' success, and clearly they aren't as good without him.
“We reflect what coach is saying,” Lee said. “No panic, but it's just very, very frustrating. Not only losing four games in a row, but the manner in which we lost them. But when you look at it, every team goes through ups and downs during a season. The key is for us to figure it out sooner rather than later and have a good last game before the All-Star break.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said at Saturday's shoot-around that he voted for Curry to make the All-Star team and was surprised when Curry wasn't named. He also said Jackson is his coach of the year right now.
“He set a great tone with them,” Carlisle said.
“The most important thing that he's done there is he's instilled a playoff style and a playoff attitude to that team. It's so obvious by their statistics, the way the roster has been reshaped. “