Apr 4, 2015 11:59 PM
Warriors beat Mavs 123-110 for home court, 12th straight win
The Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) The Splash Brothers had a little help from the big guys, and the Golden State Warriors had a little present for record-setting coach Steve Kerr.
Klay Thompson scored 21 points, Marreese Speights and Andre Iguodala had 18 apiece with a little long-range work to make Stephen Curry proud and the Warriors clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs while winning their 12th straight game, 123-110 over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
Golden State (63-13) needs one more victory to assure finishing with the best record in the NBA for the first time since 1975-76, but holds the tiebreaker on Atlanta for the top overall seed.
Kerr doesn't have to wait for the NBA mark for wins by a first-year coach. The victory pushed him past Paul Westphal (Phoenix in 1992-93) and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau (2010-11). The players gave Kerr the game ball and a Gatorade bath in the locker room.
"Great scene in there, and I wasn't really thinking about the significance of the record," Kerr said. "Those guys were. They presented me the ball, and how lucky am I to coach these guys in my first year? Ridiculous."
Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points to lead the Mavericks, who lost for the sixth time in eight games but are close to securing the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
Dallas, already without Chandler Parsons because of right knee soreness, lost point guard Rajon Rondo to a hyperextended left knee in the third quarter. Rondo, acquired in a trade with Boston in December, missed large parts of two seasons with the Celtics because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
"We don't think it's serious," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
Curry, who made 10 of 16 from beyond the arc when he scored a season-high 51 points against Dallas in February, was just 1 of 4 this time and scored just one point after halftime. He finished with 11, three better than his season low.
The Warriors didn't need their MVP candidate.
The burly 6-10 Speights hit a running 3-pointer from just inside half court to beat the halftime buzzer, then had another one in the second half. He had just three all season coming in. Thompson led the Warriors with 5-of-10 shooting from long range, while Iguodala matched a season high by making four of nine.
Speights gave Golden State a double-digit halftime lead when he caught an inbounds pass from under the basket at half court, dribbled a couple of times and threw up a shot that swished with the buzzer sounding. He ran off the court laughing, and Dallas didn't get closer than eight in the second half.
"We've got a thirsty bench," Iguodala said after Golden State's reserves scored 65 points. "Really thirsty. I don't know if there's enough water."
Golden State didn't act much like a team that never trailed, with assistant coach Jarron Collins getting called for a technical while leaving the floor after Speights' halftime shot. Monta Ellis missed the free throw to start the second half.
After Festus Ezeli got a technical for complaining to the refs, Shaun Livingston was called for a flagrant foul when video review showed him punching Nowitzki in the groin area while the big German was backing in for a shot.
"He kind of sat back to create space with his lower area, and it was just bad timing," Livingston said. "Eleven years in the league, I haven't had a dirty play. It looked worse than it actually was."
The crowd booed Livingston every time he touched the ball after that, and he exchanged words with Carlisle after getting tangled up with J.J. Barea when the Mavericks guard was called for a foul.
"It's not for public consumption," Carlisle said. "I didn't see the play. But if they called a flagrant foul on it, then there had to be something there. You don't want to see stuff like that, especially on guys like Dirk."
PLENTY OF WHISTLES
It was a busy night for the refs, with Dallas setting season highs on free throws and attempts, going 39 of 54. The Warriors were whistled for a season-high 37 fouls, and Speights fouled out.
Rondo was injured when he collided with Harrison Barnes while Barnes was driving to the basket in the third quarter. Rondo got up soon after the awkward fall, but left the game immediately and didn't return.
Warriors: Draymond Green returned after missing three games, the first for rest and two because of shin inflammation. He had five points and six rebounds. ... Golden State had seven players in double figures. The others were Barnes, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Leandro Barbosa and Ezeli with 10 apiece.
Mavericks: Tyson Chandler had his 29th double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. It's the most double-doubles for the 14th-year center since he had 38 in 2007-08 with New Orleans. ... The Mavericks had six players in double figures. Ellis and Barea scored 14 apiece, Richard Jefferson had 13 starting for Parsons and Amare Stoudemire had 10.
Warriors: at San Antonio on Sunday.
Mavericks: home against Phoenix on Wednesday.