Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 120-116 win over Mavericks


Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 120-116 win over Mavericks


OAKLAND -- 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.

[RELATED: Draymond to play more center for Dubs until Boogie arrives]

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.

D'Angelo Russell eyes super team with Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker

D'Angelo Russell eyes super team with Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker

D'Angelo Russell has only had a few months to get to know his new Warriors teammates, but he's already extremely familiar with two players he plans to team up with in the future.

Golden State's guard, acquired in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn in July, is featured on the newest cover of Slam Magazine. Russell, however, isn't alone. He's there with two longtime friends.

Russell, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix's Devin Booker go way back. They came up through the AAU system together, and entered the NBA at the same time. Towns and Russell were the Nos. 1 and 2 picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, while Booker was the No. 13 overall selection.

All three players are part of the next generation of NBA superstars. And in convening for the magazine shoot, Russell confessed a desire to form a super team with them down the line.

"We gotta do this again, when we’re all on the same team,” Russell said toward the end of the shoot. “Nah, don’t cut [the film]. Y’all got it on footage. When we’re all on the same team -- I ain’t gonna tell you which team because I don’t know -- we’re gonna do this again."

Russell signed a four-year contract with Golden State after coming over in the sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant, and is due to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season. Both Towns and Booker have five years remaining on their contracts, and are scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency one year after Russell. All three are paid handsomely.

It remains to be seen if it even will be possible to fit all three players on the same roster in the future, especially if any of them continue to improve (and thus qualify for larger salaries). Still, Towns is the oldest of the three, and he only turns 24 this November.

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There's plenty of time for it to happen. In the meantime, however, you can expect all three of Russell, Towns and Booker to star separately on their current teams.

Andre Iguodala describes Steph Curry's amazing hand-eye coordination

Andre Iguodala describes Steph Curry's amazing hand-eye coordination

We all know how much Andre Iguodala loves Steph Curry.

The former Warriors forward repeatedly has said the two-time NBA MVP is the second-best point guard of all-time, behind only Magic Johnson.

After Game 2 of last season's NBA Finals against the Raptors, Iguodala said he's all for anything that protects Curry's legacy.

On Thursday morning, Iguodala once again was singing Curry's praises.

"Steph's got something else. Anybody seen 'The Accountant?' Steph's like that. He's good at everything," the 35-year-old said on Hot 97 radio. "Hand-eye coordination. He probably could shoot somebody from 1,000 feet away.

"I've seen him throw darts. I've seen him bowl like 250. Ping-pong. Golf, he could play pro in real life. He can throw a fastball 80 miles per hour, right down the middle.

"He's got this hand-eye thing that's freakish."

[RELATED: Iguodala discusses NBA future, won't be like Vince Carter]

Wait. Steph can't hit 95 miles per hour on the radar gun? Lame.

Also, looks like I need to go watch the movie The Accountant.

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