Lack of Curry leaves flat Warriors with no stomach for fight

Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:23am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Dallas Mavericks took full advantage of Stephen Curry's absence with a lower left leg injury by bolting to an early 17-point lead on the way to a 114-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

An MRI taken on Curry's leg earlier in the day revealed no structural damage but Golden State opted to be cautious and hold him out. The reigning league MVP will be a game-time decision on Thursday when the Warriors play at the Houston Rockets.

Dallas, winner of four in a row to improve to 19-13, led 60-42 at the half behind hot three-point shooting and plenty of looks at the basket.

Golden State (29-2) had not been in that position all season, facing its largest halftime deficit, and were unable to rally and prevent a second defeat of the campaign.

The Warriors trailed the Los Angeles Clippers by 14 points on Nov. 19 but roared back to win. In that game, Golden State had Curry, who finished with a game-high 40 points.

In this one, Curry was a helpless bystander and interim coach Luke Walton basically was, too. He also had few options to turn to with forward Harrison Barnes, reserve guard Leandro Barbosa and reserve center Festus Ezeli all sidelined by injury.

Golden State needed guard Klay Thompson to step up and he had one of his worst nights of the season, going 4-of-15 from the floor for 10 points, his lowest output since Nov. 11.

The Warriors did not have three players score in double figures until the final 90 seconds of the third quarter.

Not only did the Golden State offense stall without Curry running the show -- with 40.7 percent shooting from the floor -- defensively it played uncharacteristically passive, giving Dallas easy looks at the rim.   Continued...

Golden State Warriors guard Ian Clark (21) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during the second half at American Airlines Center. Dallas won 114 to 91. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports