Fighting off early sluggishness, the Warriors spent much of Saturday night chasing, passing and finally holding off the Dallas Mavericks.
With Kevin Durant filling up the stat sheet with 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists — and nailing the 3-point dagger with 14.2 second left — the Warriors came away with a 120-116 victory at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (22-11) avenged a 112-109 loss on Nov. 17 at Dallas and have now beaten the Mavericks 12 consecutive times at Oracle.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Draymond finds his shooting touch
After shooting 1-of-10 from deep in his first five games upon returning from injury, Draymond Green vowed, in very colorful language, that his shot would get better.
It did, and quickly.
Less than three minutes after tipoff, Green jacked up a three that fell cleanly through the net, after which he gestured to the Dallas bench, urging the Mavericks to abandon their casual defense on him. His second 3-point attempt, with 4:40 left in the first quarter, also dropped in.
This was only the third time this season that Green buried multiple triples in a game. He totaled 14 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep. This is the first time he has reached double figures since Oct. 31, although he missed 16 of the 23 games in the interim.
The Warriors don’t need a lot of scoring from Green. They need him to pose a threat to the defense. When he does that, the whole offense gets an appreciable lift.
Back in the 30 Club
The Warriors ideally move the ball effectively enough to generate plenty of offense. They consider the 30-assist mark compelling proof of that.
After reaching that level only three times in their previous 20 games, they recorded 34 against the Mavericks.
The passing was particularly fabulous in transition, where the Warriors outscored Dallas 27-11.
There was Durant’s team-high eight helpers, Andre Iguodala with six, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry adding five each, Klay Thompson four and Jonas Jerebko three.
When the Warriors keep the ball moving and find open shooters, relatively easy points tend to follow.
Jerebko fills it up
Jonas Jerebko has been very good off the bench in most games this season, but he was superb in this one.
Jerebko scored a career-high 23 points, shooting 10-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. He was plus-14 in 21 minutes.
That scoring efficiency, along with six rebounds and three assists earned Jerebko a standing ovation when he left the game with 6:39 remaining.
The 6-10 forward/center has scored in double figures 12 times this season, including six of the last nine games. He has become a legitimate weapon the Warriors rely on off the bench.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Warriors-Hold-Off-Mavericks-for-120-116-Win-503411801.html.