[March 12, 2014]OAKLAND, Calif. — Guard Steve Blake
didn't play long for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he hung around long
enough to learn one thing.
When someone is on a Kobe Bryant-type roll, keep feeding him the
Blake applied that strategy to fellow Golden State Warriors backup
Jordan Crawford on Tuesday night, setting the table for his
backcourt mate to score nine consecutive points in a 100-second
flurry bridging the first and second periods.
Crawford's surge propelled the Warriors to a 108-85 victory over the
In a game that pitted the Nos. 6 and 7 teams in the Western
Conference playoff race, the Warriors (41-24) recorded a fifth
consecutive win and moved three games up on the Mavericks (38-27).
Golden State's second-string unit, led by Blake's passing and
Crawford's scoring, provided the difference in a win that capped a
"It started on the defensive end," Blake said of a spurt that began
with Dallas clinging to a 20-17 lead late in the first period. "We
got stops, and the energy transitioned into the offensive end. Then
Jordan got hot."
Golden State reserves made four field goals — all but one a
3-pointer — in the final 2:54 of the quarter, capped by Crawford's
first basket, a buzzer-beating 21-pointer off a Blake assist that
concluded a 12-2 burst and put the Warriors up 29-22.
The quarter ended, but Crawford's offensive outburst had just begun.
The Warriors' in-season acquisition from the Boston Celtics opened
the second period with two close-range shots, then turned another
Blake assist into a 26-foot 3-pointer to complete his personal
nine-point run that single-handedly pushed the Golden State lead to
"That's my job — find a guy who's hot and ride him until he's not
going anymore," said Blake, who finished with a game-high eight
assists. "I just kept going to the hot hand."
Crawford credited the first-quarter buzzer-beater as the key to his
flurry. The sequence began with a defensive rebound by Warriors
forward Draymond Green with 5.6 seconds left in the quarter, after
which Blake rushed the ball up the court and awkwardly fed Crawford,
who barely got a look at the hoop before launching an off-balance
shot from the left side.
"It was a big factor," Crawford said of his first hoop's role in
what turned out to be a 19-point night. "I'm glad I took it."
With starting center Andrew Bogut enjoying a 15-point, six-rebound
half, the Warriors went up by as many as 18 in the second period en
route to a 55-44 advantage at the break. The Mavericks were never
closer than nine in the second half.
Crawford hit eight of his 12 shots to lead five players in double
figures for the Warriors, whose bench outscored its Dallas
Bogut finished with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, and
shooting guard Klay Thompson contributed 14 points. Golden State won
for a league-best 10th time since the All-Star break to go 17 games
over .500 for the first time this season.
"That was a big-time win for us," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson,
whose team flies to Los Angeles to duel the Pacific Division-leading
Clippers on Wednesday. "If you lose this game, all of a sudden there
are three teams again within striking distance (of the sixth playoff
spot). This gave us some breathing room, especially considering we
have a big-time game (Wednesday) against a red-hot Clipper team."
Shooting guard Monta Ellis' 15 points paced the Mavericks, who lost
their third consecutive road game.
Dallas point guard Jose Calderon had 13 points, and power forward
Dirk Nowitzki added 12 despite 4-for-11 shooting. The Mavericks fell
behind Golden State 2-1 in the season series with one game remaining
at Dallas on April 1.
"Crawford came in and changed the game for them," Nowitzki said.
"And offensively, it's not like we had it going all night."
The Mavericks shot 36.6 percent in the loss and were held below 100
points for just the second time in their last 11 games.
The Warriors hit 51.3 percent of their shots from the floor.
Like the Warriors, Dallas will face the second half of a
back-to-back situation Wednesday in Utah. Mavericks coach Rick
Carlisle is looking forward to it.
"We struggled tonight," he said. "Other than the first six minutes
of the game, we were fighting uphill the rest of the time, We have
to flush it and get ready for (the Jazz)."
NOTES: SG Jordan Crawford's 19 points and PG Steve Blake's eight
assists were both season highs as Warriors for the club's two
in-season trade acquisitions. ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry
connected on a 3-pointer with 5:07 remaining in the game, keeping
alive his league-best streak of at least one successful 3 in 53
consecutive games. ... Curry has now made 199 3s this season. He is
on the verge of becoming the sixth player in NBA history to connect
on at least 200 in consecutive seasons. ... The Warriors held an
opponent under 40 percent shooting for the 23rd time this season.
Only the Indiana Pacers (25) have accomplished that feat more often.
... Dallas played the final 32 minutes without backup SG Devin
Harris, who suffered a strained right Achilles in the second
quarter. The injury is not considered to be serious. ... The
Mavericks and Warriors have not made the playoffs in the same season