One half was Stephen Curry at his worst. The turnovers, the sloppy shooting and decision making on offense. Just what the Golden State Warriors don’t need from their star player, especially while Andre Iguodala is out. In the second half? Completely different, and quite close to unstoppable, getting a lot of help from Draymond Green on both ends of the floor before burying the game winning shot himself.
The Warriors get through the Dallas Mavericks with a 95-93 win. It didn’t work very well for them in the first half, down by 11 at the break. Curry took bad shots, didn’t wait for screens and couldn’t stop turning over the ball, as the Mavs made very good decisions on when to help out Jose Calderon and others in trapping Curry to force the bad pass out of him.
The second half? Curry scored 24 of his 33 points, including 6 of the last 9, hitting a huge four point play to bring the Warriors within one shot of the lead, and then with the game wining shot as only 1.5 seconds were left on the clock, having no problem with Shawn Marion guarding him, getting Marion to bite on the pump fake before burying a long 2 to win the game.
It was an interesting decision from Mark Jackson not to call a time out as Monta Ellis missed a shot over Green (we’ll get back to him) and give Curry the ball and the time to make the decision and call the play in the final 23 seconds himself. Maybe with him being on fire it didn’t really matter – anything he would have decided to do would have been fine by Jackson, as it seems there was no shot in those closing minutes too difficult for Curry to make. He finished with 13-of-25 from the field, hitting 6-of-11 from beyond the arc.
Draymond Green was the X-factor and the secret MVP. He scored 9 points off the bench, playing 28 minutes, shooting 4-of-5 from the field, doing a bit of everything – 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks. His biggest contribution came in the form of defense on both Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki (each scoring 21), curbing their shooting in the second half, and with two big plays in the final moments – that huge bullet assist to Curry from one corner to the other, and a three point shot of his own that gave the Warriors the lead for the first time in the second half.
Curry finished with 10 assists and 8 turnovers. Let’s not forget – he makes plenty of mistakes, and being the sole playmaker and focal point on offense to finish things is still something a bit big for him. Andre Iguodala made it a lot easier to balance things and take over certain roles, not to mention backing up deficiencies and holes in the defense. He’ll be back at some point, but until that time comes, it’s going to be up to Curry to be more than just the world’s best shooter.