Stephen Curry made a game-winning jumper with 0.1 seconds left in overtime to lift the shorthanded Golden State Warriors to a 122-120 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at the American Airlines Center.
It was Curry’s second game-winning shot against Dallas this season. Curry, who finished with 23 points and 10 assists, made a 19-foot jumper from the right wing with 1.5 seconds left to beat the Mavericks at home on Dec. 11.
“It was kind of a weird play,” said Curry on tonight's game-winner. “I thought they were going to trap at half court and I was able to get around it. Then, you look up and you’ve got five seconds to try and figure out how to get a clean shot off. I missed a couple to end regulation and a couple in overtime that I felt were good. I just wanted to keep shooting and thankfully it went in.”
“Great win,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. “Absolutely incredible win for us.”
Without David Lee (right hamstring) and Andrew Bogut (pelvis/groin), it took a complete team effort from the Warriors to notch another impressive road victory.
Klay Thompson had a great floor game with a team-high 27 points, five rebounds and five assists. Jermaine O’Neal had 20 points, eight rebounds and one important block that set up the game-winner. Jordan Crawford scored 19 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the 3-point line. Andre Iguodala posted 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
“Guys really stepped up and made plays,” said Jackson. “Jermaine was huge. Mo was huge. Jordan Crawford was big time off the bench. Obviously Steph, Draymond, Andre played one of his best games of the year and Klay was Klay. I hope I’m not forgetting anybody, but I thought it was a big time total team victory.”
With the win, Golden State (46-28) stayed within two games of Portland for fifth place in the Western Conference and opened up a two-game lead over both Memphis and Phoenix for sixth place. Dallas (44-31) fell to ninth, a half-game out of the final playoff spot.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Monta Ellis had 27 points, six assists and two steals. Brandan Wright came off the bench with 14 points and five rebounds. Shawn Marion grabbed 10 rebounds.
Showing no effects from a deflating home loss to New York on Sunday, Golden State scored the first eight points and jumped out to a 30-19 lead. The Warriors shot 56.5 percent from the field and held Dallas to 39 percent to lead by nine after one quarter.
Everything changed in the second quarter when the Mavericks exploded for 41 points. Dallas shot 66.7 percent and was 8 of 10 from the 3-point line. Nowitzki (16) and Vince Carter (9) combined for 25 points and a perfect 7 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Despite shooting 56 percent in the first half, the Warriors trailed 62-53 at halftime. Nowitzki led all scorers with 22 points. Thompson and Crawford led the Warriors with 13 points apiece.
The Mavericks cooled down dramatically in the third quarter while the Warriors stayed consistent. Led by Curry and O’Neal, Golden State outscored Dallas 32-19. Curry scored 11 points on 4 of 4 shooting and also dished out four assists. O’Neal scored 10 points on all layups or dunks.
The Warriors shot 66.7 percent in the third quarter to just 31.8 percent for the Mavericks. Golden State led by four after three quarters.
Dallas regained the upper hand in the fourth quarter, due to the play of Ellis. The fomer Warrior scored nine points and had two sensational assists. Devin Harris and DeJuan Blair both chipped in with six points. After Nowitzki hit his patented step-back jumper, the Mavericks opened up a four-point lead with 1:43 remaining.
The Warriors would quickly respond. Iguodala cut the lead to one with a 3-pointer. After Ellis made a jumper, Thompson nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 108 with 1:01 left.
Both teams had multiple chances in the final minute, but failed to take the lead. Ellis missed a mid-range jumper. Maurice Speights’ dunk attempt was blocked by Marion. Iguodala retrieved the offensive rebound, but Curry missed a long jumper. Marion rebounded the miss and called timeout to give Dallas an opportunity with 1.7 seconds left. The Mavericks failed when Jose Calderon couldn’t connect with Ellis on the inbounds pass.
The Mavericks opened up a 117-113 lead with just over two minutes left in overtime, but couldn't seal the deal yet again. Thompson made his fourth 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one. After a miss by Carter, Curry made a jumper to give the Warriors a one-point lead with 1:42 left.
After missed opportunities from both teams, Calderon gave the Mavericks a 120-118 lead with 42 seconds left when he, with the shot clock winding down, connected on his only 3-pointer of the game.
The Warriors quickly tied the game when Draymond Green, who started and finished with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists, found O'Neal inside for a dunk. O’Neal followed with the biggest defensive play of the game when he blocked Ellis on a floater attempt deep inside the paint. O’Neal also grabbed the rebound and the Warriors quickly got the ball to their All-Star.
Curry dribbled the ball up and down the left wing, shook Calderon for a mini-second and nailed the game-winner from 21-feet.
“After J.O. got the block, we knew we would get the last shot so I wanted to make sure that we did,” said Curry.
“I knew if he got a good look, he was going to make it,” said Thompson. “He has made four or five of those this year. He has become a real good closer. I have to guard him in practice, so I know what it’s like when he hits those kinds of shots.”
This was perhaps the biggest win of the season for Golden State, who heads to San Antonio for a back-to-back on Wednesday. The Warriors have not won a regular season game in San Antonio for over 17 years.
“This is a quality win against a team that had everything going their way and I’m just proud of these guys,” said Jackson. “They deserve the credit. We began to defend at a high level, made multiple plays, we were undersized, but had extra effort plays. If you don’t leave that game as a coach, as a player drained then something is wrong with you. This was a big time game.”