Festus Ezeli and Steph Curry hustle for an extra possession.
Steph Curry was due for a big game, he got it on Monday night. The Warriors (6-5) went into the Dallas Mavericks (6-6) house and stole a big win in OT. The win not only won them their 3 game road trip series, it also put them back over .500 on the season. Curry, who had not been shooting the ball well so far this season, carried the Warriors in the 4th quarter and overtime. After rolling his right ankle early in the 4th quarter, he scored 14 of the Warriors next 17 points in regulation and 6 points in overtime. He finished with 31 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds, including 10-10 from the free throw line.
Coming off a tough loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder the night before, the Warriors still managed to have enough energy to knock off the gritty Mavericks squad. Mavs guard O.J. Mayo had another stellar performance, finishing with 27 points, (23 of them in the second half) 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He has been a major offseason acquisition for the Mavs, who are still playing without their star Dirk Nowitzki.
Mavs big man Chris Kaman finished with 18 points and 17 boards, but he was the only rebounding threat all night and it was the rebounding difference yet again that won the Warriors this game. They won the battle on the glass 62-43, including 19 offensive rebounds. David Lee had another double double, he scored 17 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Warriors, but it was their trio of rookies that solidified their team outside of their stars Curry and Lee.
Steph Curry drives the lane.
Harrison Barnes has been a breakout player over the past week. He finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds in increased minutes. Festus Ezeli has really stepped up in the paint for the injured Andrew Bogut, he scored 9 points with 8 rebounds, 7 of those rebounds offensive. And filling in for the injured Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson, Draymond Green has found himself right in the middle of the action. He scored 9 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 steals. These trio of rookies are the most promising sign of the Warriors in the first month of the season. They all have the length to play solid defense and rebound, but also have an offensive presence. This appears to be their best draft class in years.
Although this Warriors team has had many mental breakdowns and a few key injuries early in this season, they still find themselves playing above .500. They are coming off big wins in Minnesota and Dallas, two teams that will also be battling for a bottom playoff seed in the Western Conference, and now they are coming home to play 5 of their next 6 games. This will be an important home stand because it leads into a 7 game East Coast road trip. If they continue to win the rebounding battle and get consistent play out of their rookies, they can run with most teams in the Association.
The Warriors next game is Wednesday, November 21st vs. the Brooklyn Nets. Tip off is at 7:30 PM Pacific Time.
- Rich Peters
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