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News » Mavs put the hurt on Warriors

Mavs put the hurt on Warriors

Mavs put the hurt on Warriors
The euphoria of finally having their core together lasted for all of about six minutes, roughly the time it took for the Warriors' isolation shots to stop falling and their collective defense to begin failing.

That left more than three quarters for Golden State to embarrass itself on national television before its 117-93 loss against the Mavs came to a merciful end Wednesday.

"Awful, right?" said Jamal Crawford, whose long-awaited debut alongside Monta Ellis ended in a disjointed mess.

Warriors coach Don Nelson has always said that Ellis' re-integration would take some time, and his team proved just how far it has to go by playing its worst game in three weeks.

For the first time this season, Ellis and Crawford started together in the backcourt, and the result was forgettable. They combined for 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting while racking up more turnovers six than assists four.

So obvious were their struggles on both ends that Crawford hoped his partnership with Ellis wouldn't be judged by Wednesday's dismal debut.

"Not this one," said Crawford, who had missed the last two games with a sore knee. "Anyone but this one."

Back on national television for the first time in more than a month, the Warriors ran out to a deceptive 19-12 lead midway through the first quarter behind Stephen Jackson, who made his first five shot attempts while forcing Dirk Nowitzki into three misses to start the game.

But Jackson's scoring spree only set the tone for a night of one-on-one play, and with Ellis and Crawford unable to hit jumpers or finish their drives, Golden State's play quickly disintegrated.

Golden State was outscored 32-11 to end the first half and trailed by as many as 30 points in Wednesday's route.

"We haven't had a national TV game in a long time, and for us to come out and not play up to the level that we should've played, the level we've been playing at home, is upsetting," said Jackson, who had 25 points.

Golden State had thrived on sharp shooting recently, connecting on a higher percentage than its opponents in 11 straight games. Part of that was being home at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors just completed a seven-game home stand with a 4-3 record, and part of that was better shots created by ball movement.

Neither of those were in play against the Mavs. The ball stagnated and the defense allowed Dallas to shoot 76.5 percent in the decisive second quarter and 49.4 percent for the game.

Ellis, who briefly left the game after bumping knees with a defender in the first quarter, finished with seven points and three assists in 26 minutes in his third game.

"We know with Monta, we're going to take a step back before we go forward probably quite a few times this year until he gets back, and he's certainly not ready yet," Nelson said. "But we put him out there to go through the growing pains that we know are coming."

Briefly: Nelson and Mavs owner Mark Cuban are scheduled for a mediation hearing in Dallas today after Cuban, who lost a lengthy $6 million-plus arbitration case with Nelson last summer, appealed the ruling. The coach and his former boss sued and counter-sued each other over deferred payments from Nelson's original contract with the Mavs before an arbitrator ruled in Nelson's favor during the offseason. ... Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson were not selected to participate in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge.

NUMBERS GAME Warriors' record against teams in the Southwest DivisionStraight games the Warriors had scored at least 100 points prior to WednesdayLosses in 25 road games this season

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 29, 2009


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