SAN FRANCISCO -- Coming home from a tough end to a 1-2 three-game road trip, the Warriors badly needed a win Saturday night at Chase Center.
Contributions were galore, coming from stars and smaller names. The ball was moving from the start, and the Warriors never got too turnover happy. Fans were on their feet and all smiles for the most part in the Warriors' 119-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Then they held their collective breath.
Steph Curry, while guarding McKinley Wright IV, appeared to injure his left leg and limped badly into the stands with two minutes left in the third quarter. The Warriors called timeout and Curry remained on the bench. He then went to head trainer Rick Celebrini, pointed and touched his left leg and then limped back to the Warriors' locker room.
Curry had scored 21 points with seven assists and six rebounds before exiting the game with what was later called a left lower leg injury. X-rays were negative, and Curry will get an MRI.
After scoring 10 points in the first half, Curry scored 11 in the third quarter and made three of his four shot attempts. The Warriors led by 19 points when Curry left the game for good.
Here are three non-Curry takeaways from the Warriors' win that pushes their record to 27-26.
With the Mavs being down Luka Doncic, Christian Wood, Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans, Steve Kerr opted to start big by inserting center Kevon Looney in for Jordan Poole. Looney rewarded Kerr right away with a rebound and layup to get the Warriors on the scoreboard in under the first 30 seconds of the game.
When Kerr turned to his bench, he immediately went small with Donte DiVincenzo replacing Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole entering for Looney. Within his first minute-plus on the floor, Poole was called for two fouls and turned the ball over once.
Looney played 19 minutes, scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and was clutch down the stretch.
Poole saw 27 minutes and scored only three points. He went 1-for-6 from the field and had more turnovers (four) than points.
The starting five of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green and Looney played 11 minutes together and was a plus-9, outscoring the Mavs 32-23.
No Warrior was forced to wear a superhero cape in this win. Not Curry, not Klay Thompson, not Andrew Wiggins and not Jordan Poole. Each are capable of doing so.
But it's a win when they don't have to.
In the first quarter alone, 10 Warriors played and nine scored. At the eight-minute mark of the second quarter, a Ty Jerome 3-pointer gave Golden State 10 players who had seen the floor and 10 who put up points. That was the theme of the night: Balance.
As expected (sarcasm), the Warriors' leading scorers in the first half were Draymond Green and JaMychal Green. Each scored 11 points in the first half, with Draymond draining three 3-pointers and JaMychal going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.
Draymond wound up scoring 17 points, and JaMychal added 14. The Warriors had seven players score in double figures, and Wiggins was right behind with nine points.
Bench Gets It Done Again
For so long at the start of the season, the Warriors' starting lineup was let down by their bench. The starters would dominate and the reserves would stumble. Sometimes, far too hard.
Lately, that hasn't been the case. The starters and veterans have been the ones who bare the blame for the Warriors' up-and-down stretch of games. Against the Mavs, both units did their part. The bench deserves planety of credit, too.
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The starters scored 71 points, and the bench added 48. JaMychal Green led the way with 14 points, plus DiVincenzo and Jonathan Kuminga each scored 13. It was a group effort, and now everyone awaits more news on Curry.