Jermaine O’Neal blocked Monta Ellis’ shot with 13 seconds remaining in overtime, a beautiful rejection that the Mavericks believed should’ve given Dallas two points and the lead after a goaltending call that never came. O’Neal secured the ball and gave it to Stephen Curry, who toyed with Jose Calderon by changing directions several times (five, by my count) before nailing a jumper from 21 feet away to give the Warriors a 122-120 victory.
Mark Cuban had a great view:
He handled it pretty well, considering.
The Warriors have played too many fantastic games this year to worry about whether this one was the best. This game was amazing, a visceral tour de force. It didn’t hurt that so many players on both sides played so well offensively. We had some vintage Dirk Nowitzki. Monta was a demon in the fourth quarter. Vince Carter turned back the clock, just like O’Neal. Andre Iguodala played what might have been his best game of the year, according to Mark Jackson. Klay Thompson scored 27 points and hit two huge threes in the fourth quarter and one in overtime. Even Jordan “Steezus” Crawford torched the Mavs for 19 points in 16 minutes.
But Curry — who finished with 23 points (10-of-17), 10 assists and just one turnover — is the knife that stirs the gourmet peanut butter.
“He was as calm as they come. When it left his hand, you just knew it. It looked good all the way to me,” Mark Jackson said. “I almost started moonwalking.”
Curry celebrated as loudly and brashly as we’ve seen, which in reality was neither loud nor brash compared to your standard celebration after a game-winning home run, goal, touchdown or jumper.
“We out! We out! We out! I’ll see y’all! Hell yeah!”
What’d those exclamations mean? Mostly joy at not facing a double-overtime the night before playing in San Antonio.
“We just want to get out of here as quickly as possible,” Curry said.
The Warriors don’t have time to nurse the afterglow from this victory, because even though they helped their chances of making the playoffs, the postseason still isn’t a given and the Spurs rested on Tuesday night. Yet there’s no way the Warriors expected to sweep two Texas teams in two days, especially without Andrew Bogut and David Lee, and this game was especially satisfying because nearly everyone contributed.
“Coach has preached — we’re a really, really deep team and it’s hard to play everybody significant minutes and there’s nights they’re going to win games for us,” Curry said.
“Everybody played their part. Confidence is what we need down the stretch. Teams are going to load up on some of our guys. For us to be successful, everybody’s got to be able to make a play with the ball in their hands. That’s what they did tonight.”
— Tonight’s game was a CUBAN WHISTLE CRISIS! Juuuust kidding. Bad joke, and totally not true.
— The officials let a lot of stuff go tonight … on both sides. Bob Fitzgerald’s whining was more embarrassing than usual. C’mon man, people all over the place watch League Pass and are going to think all Warriors fans are like this. Let’s get something straight: sometimes on the road you’ve got to play through some things, and sometimes when the Mavericks strip Marreese Speights in the paint, the steals are clean.
— That being said, Speights has been surprisingly fun to watch over the last few games. Since he got that surprise start against Memphis, he’s averaging 9 ppg and 8.3 rpg while shooting 54%.
— Let’s not forget the one guy I haven’t mentioned yet — Draymond Green. Green came through with some great interior passes, but the play I’ll remember was a steal. He ran over from 10 feet away and stripped Shawn Marion, a play that led to a Curry three in transition.
— Steve Blake and Harrison Barnes weren’t good on Tuesday night. Barnes’ slump is no secret — I wrote about it earlier today. Blake, on the other hand, was thought to be some sort of messiah after the Warriors traded for him. I think he’ll get back into swing of things and contribute a clutch shot or two before the season is over, but he’s in a funk right now.
— Curry: “It was a mature win for us mentally to withstand all their runs, the way they finished the first half with all their threes. We didn’t get rattled.”
— Jackson: “If you don’t leave that game as a player, as a coach, drained, something’s wrong with you.”
— The Warriors are four wins away from 50, but it’s probably time to set a new goal: 52.
— The Warriors remain in the sixth spot, two games behind Portland and two ahead of Memphis and Phoenix. Yes, tonight’s loss knocked the Mavericks a half-game behind the Grizzlies and Suns and into the ninth seed. Ouch.
— My sister gave birth to her first child this morning, a healthy baby boy named Cyrus Charles. I’m an uncle!
So we visited the happy family this evening in their hospital room in Marin County, and I thought I DVR’d both the Warriors game (which I set manually because it was on a weird channel) and the Giants game. Only we have a new DVR, so my old Giants season pass is gone.
I didn’t find this out until I finished watching the Warriors game … about five minutes after the Giants lost 5-4 in Arizona.
The moral of the story: I’ve made several DVR-related mistakes in my day, and none turned out better than today’s.