Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic continue what has turned into a very entertaining budding rivalry when the Golden State Warriors host the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night in San Francisco.
The Warriors (31-30) will take a four-game home winning streak into the matchup, but hold no home-court advantage over a Mavericks team (33-27) that has recorded one-sided victories in its last three visits to the San Francisco Bay Area, including 141-121 and 124-97 cakewalks in Chase Center last season.
The clubs have met twice this season, both times in Dallas, where they split a high-scoring three-day, two-game sequence. The Warriors stunned the Mavericks 147-116 behind Kelly Oubre Jr.'s 40 points in the set opener, before Dallas exacted a measure of revenge in a 134-132 triumph two nights later.
After Oubre's career-best scoring explosion stole the spotlight in the first game, Curry and Doncic put on quite a show in the rematch.
Curry won the personal scoring duel 57-42, but Doncic came through late with a key 3-pointer and an assist on a lead-saving 3-pointer by Maxi Kleber with 5.6 seconds remaining.
The loss was the first for Curry in a head-to-head with Doncic. The Warriors star has outscored the young Mavericks standout in all four meetings, including 22-19 and 48-26 during Doncic's rookie season in 2019.
They did not square off last season, when the Mavericks took advantage of Curry's injuries to sweep Golden State 3-0 in the season series.
Curry had 28 points and Doncic 27 in the first meeting this season in Dallas.
Both teams are battling for playoff position in the Western Conference, and in fact became a half-game closer with the Mavericks losing 113-106 at Sacramento on Monday night on the front end of a back-to-back.
It's no sure thing Doncic, who has been battling a sore left elbow, will play on the second night. And if he doesn't, he might join any combination of Kristaps Porzingis (sprained left ankle), JJ Redick (sore right heel), Kleber (strained back) and Josh Richardson (tight right hamstring) on the sidelines.
With Porzingis and Redick sidelined on Monday and several others -- himself included -- nicked in some way, Doncic noticed a lack of energy against the Kings.
"It's been a lot of games," he said of a recurring theme. "I don't know what to say."
Having won three of the last four despite Monday's defeat, Dallas begins play Tuesday in the sixth playoff spot in the West, one game ahead of Portland (32-28), two up on Memphis and San Antonio (both 31-29), and 2 1/2 in front of Golden State.
A Warriors win not only would advance them to within 1 1/2 games of the Mavericks, but it would also clinch the season-series tiebreaker.
"I'd love to get as high as we possibly can in the standings," Warriors forward Draymond Green noted after Sunday's home win over Sacramento. "If we can work our way up and climb into those top six, that'd be great."
--Field Level Media
FROM THE ARCHIVES