Dirk Nowitzki added one more memorable game in his final visit to Oracle Arena, scoring a season-high 21 points and insisting he couldn’t remember whether it was a chair or a trash can that he threw into a wall opposite the visitors’ locker room at one of his favorite arenas.
Luka Doncic had a triple-double and the Dallas Mavericks capitalized on Stephen Curry’s absence to beat the Golden State Warriors 126-91 on Saturday night.
As ESPN notes, the 35-point loss was the Warriors’ worst home loss since 2007 and worst loss ever under head coach Steve Kerr.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2019
Just as worrisome, Bleacher Report points out that the loss to the Mavs was the uneven Warriors’ eighth loss this year by at least 20 points this season.
Nowitzki, 40, who is in his 21st and perhaps final season with the Mavericks, got a rare start and a rousing ovation from the Oracle crowd.
After scoring a season-high 21 PTS, Dirk Nowitzki receives a standing ovation at Oracle Arena! pic.twitter.com/sgYRzElRzv
— NBA (@NBA) March 24, 2019
He came out and torched the Warriors with 10 points in the game’s first four minutes, and the Mavs jumped out to a 22-7 lead. They never trailed in the game.
“The last few games I didn’t have a good shooting rhythm,” Nowitzki said. “Today, I had it early and often.”
Golden State dropped out of the top seed in the Western Conference to a half-game behind Denver. With Curry resting, Kevin Durant had 25 points and DeMarcus Cousins scored 19. But the Warriors were 4 for 30 from 3-point range, while the Mavs went 21 of 49 from behind the arc.
“We just couldn’t pull together after that slow start and we never could get any traction in the game,” Kerr said. “So we just kind of flush this one down the toilet and move on to tomorrow, not much else to do.”
Doncic had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Dallas ended a 12-game losing streak in Oakland, where it last won in April 2012. The Mavs built their lead to 43 early in the final quarter.
Nowitzki scored his first NBA basket at Oracle Arena, which is closing after this season, and some of his career highs and lows also came in Oakland. In 2007, the Warriors shocked the 67-win Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs — prompting Nowitzki to throw something through the wall. The hole has never been repaired.
“Great memories, bad memories here,” he said. “This has always been a fun building, a fun atmosphere to play. I’ll always remember this building.”
Mavericks: Doncic had his sixth triple-double of a stellar rookie season. … Nowitzki went 8 for 14 from the field, including 5 of 8 on 3-pointers. … Mavs hit 65.2 percent of their shots in the first half, while holding the Warriors to 29.6 percent. … Maxi Kleber had 16 points and Ryan Broekhoff added 17 off the bench for Dallas, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Warriors: The four 3-pointers made tied a season low. … Missed seven of their first eight shots and never really recovered, shooting 40 percent for the game. … Andrew Bogut, who recently re-signed with the Warriors, also skipped the game for rest. … Quinn Cook, who took Curry’s place in the lineup, led the Warriors with seven assists.
Durant came into the game needing one made 3-pointer to tie Glen Rice with 1,559 for 25th place on the NBA career list. But he went 0 for 8 from behind the arc.
Mavericks: Host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. The Mavs just lost 116-100 at Sacramento last Thursday night.
Warriors: Complete a home back-to-back and a three-game homestand Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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