Warriors accelerate past struggling Mavericks

As the season moves into its later days, inter-conference games seem to hold more weight, especially in the West.

The Mavericks — currently sixth in the West with San Antonio hot on their heels and a tough upcoming schedule — need every win they can get.

But the Warriors weren’t handing out any favors Friday night, instead improving to 48-12 with a defensive 104-89 victory at home.

Even though the Warriors were defensively solid through the evening and they scored 100-plus, their offense was stagnant, committing 22 turnovers and losing their quick ball movement.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said he didn’t recognize what he saw offensively and the team will need to do better come postseason:

“It was really a poor performance … We always talk about making the simple play, but right now we’re dribbling into crowds, we’re standing around a lot, not cutting and not setting screens. Fortunately we can play off our defense … but that won’t be enough down the road.”

Golden State trailed early, but only until Stephen Curry scored the Warriors first eight points and ignited a slew of three-pointers from himself, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Shortly after the Warriors tied the game at 14-14, tempers flared quickly and the first of three technical fouls on the night was given to Tyson Chandler for jawing with the officials.

The Warriors continued to pull ahead in the second frame with Shaun Livingston leading a charge that saw Golden State outscore Dallas 23-16 in the quarter.

Thompson, who has struggled shooting recently, didn’t have a standout night but was able to notch nine of his 16 points in the third frame while Dallas continued to scuff.

Former Warrior Monta Ellis couldn’t connect all night, finishing just 2-of-14, and the Mavericks were held to 36 percent shooting one day after scoring a season-low 75 points in Portland.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the last two nights have been difficult against high-caliber defensive teams in Portland and Golden State:

“It’s a long season and there are going to be difficult periods. We have to keep our energy up. We have to keep our vibe positive. These are two tough games, and we didn’t play well really in either one of them which is disappointing.”

While Dallas struggled, Curry finished with 22 points, Green was one rebound shy of another double-double, and Festus Ezeli dazzled with eight fourth-quarter points in just over five minutes.

Green told SFBay knowing the team can win with their defense is huge, and said the sluggish offensive night happens to the even the best of teams:

“It’s an 82-game season. You aren’t going to be in a rhythm every game, its just not gonna happen. The best  offensive teams ever, are not in a rhythm every game. It’s something we have to clean up … we’ve been here before though, so we’ll be fine.”

The Warriors, now a Western-Conference best 48-12, host the Clippers at Oracle Arena Sunday with an early tipoff of 12:30 p.m.

Notes

The Warriors, who posted 51 victories last season, have won 48 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1974-75 and 1975-76. … Golden State is now 26-2 at home, the NBA’s best home record, winning their 14th straight game at home against a Western Conference opponent. … The Warriors earned their 34th double-digit win of the season, a franchise best and the most in the NBA this season. … Steve Kerr became the fourth coach in NBA history to begin his head coaching career with at least 48 victories in his first 60 games. … Shaun Livingston recorded his first double-double of the season (sixth career) with 10 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. He blocked a season-high three shots and matched his season-high in minutes played (28).


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