Warriors finally deliver superb show in dominant win over Mavs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – After missing two games with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, Klay Thompson was tricky and bouncy Tuesday night, flipping back-the-back passes and submitting his most efficient shooting performance since returning 16 days ago.
Rookie Jonathan Kuminga delivered his most impressive performance yet, scoring 22 points in a high-velocity preview of what the Warriors hope will be a frequent occurrence in the future.
Two weeks into his Sixth Man role, Jordan Poole was more effective than he had been since coming out of the starting lineup to make room for Klay.
Two days after Stephen Curry patiently detailed his efforts to remain psychologically balanced amid the worst shooting slump of his 13-year career, he altered his strategy and succeeded.
Five days after coach Steve Kerr pointed at himself, conceding he did a sorry job of preparing the Warriors for a game they lost to the Pacers, he can pat his back for making subtle changes that clicked.
This is the kind of elixir the Warriors have been chasing for weeks, facing a playoff-caliber opponent on national TV, putting on a show at home and popping collective collars on the way out of Chase Center after a 130-92 rout of the Mavericks.
“We caught a rhythm pretty early and it’s just kind of hard to stop us after that,” said Poole, who finished with 17 points and three assists.
“The game was tied together really well,” Kerr said. “We played well at both ends and when you play well offensively, you tend to put your defense in a good position and vice versa. You get stops and you get rebounds and you get out in transition and the offense is more likely to flow.”
This was, to be sure, the Warriors’ most impressive and convincing home victory since a 118-96 blasting the Suns eight days after Thanksgiving – back when all was right in their world.
This was Golden State’s highest-scoring game at home this season, with seven players scoring in double figures and the team shooting 53.3 percent from the field, the best at Chase since hitting 54.0 percent against Portland on Nov. 26.
The Warriors dominated the glass (58-38), taking a whopping 21-4 advantage in second-chance points while recording 31 assists, with 14 turnovers.
“We were able to hit shots,” Poole said. “A lot of guys stepped up. Overall, a big win, especially after going to Dallas and taking a pretty big loss.”
This was payback for a 17-point loss to the Mavericks three weeks ago, and the most welcome sights probably were those of Curry finding rhythm on his mid-range shot (5-of-6 inside the arc) even as his 3-ball (2-of-10) remains elusive, Poole playing well off the bench and Thompson summoning his best overall showing, with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, with six assists.
“I’m just happy that I was able to uptick my minutes tonight,’’ said Thompson, who played 26 minutes. “That was a season-high for me . . . Now get a lot of good rest tomorrow and I’m excited to play against the T-Wolves (Thursday).
“It felt good to make some 3-balls too and have an efficient night from the floor. I really pride myself on my efficiency, so it felt good to be myself again.”
Kerr might have found something new for his rotation. Sliding Thompson to small forward, while Andrew Wiggins was sitting, and using Poole in the Curry role while Steph was sitting resulted in positive minutes and a nice flow for a duo still learning how to play together.
“This was a really good two-way game for us and feels like, these last couple weeks we’ve been kind of grinding and just hoping to get out of the mud,” Kerr said. “Tonight felt like kind of a cleansing, like, ‘OK, we’re right again.’ “But we’ve got to prove it by having another good game on Thursday.”
The Timberwolves laid a 20-point beating on the Warriors nine days ago in Minneapolis. Motivation should not be an issue. Nor, after this rousing win, should confidence.