OAKLAND, Calif. — The Dallas Mavericks gave the Golden State Warriors a quarter and a half of a fight, but that was about all they could muster.
Kevin Durant’s first triple-double as a Warrior — 19 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists — led his squad to a 108-99 victory Friday evening at Oracle Arena for Golden State’s NBA-leading 29th win.
Golden State tallied 31 assists, its league-leading 23rd game with 30 or more dimes. The Warriors also shot 50 percent — improving to 16-0 this season when at 50 or better this season — thanks in part to Klay Thompson’s 11-of-19 showing. Thompson scored a game-high 29 points and knocked down five of his 11 3-point attempts.
“If [a triple-double] happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, who cares,” Green said. “And so that’s kind of the way we approach things. Nobody is out there trying to get stats or doing this or doing that for themselves. It’s all about the team.”
Durant, who captured his eighth career triple-double during the third quarter, made the game look simple and, at times, effortless. He routinely got to his spots and shot over the smaller Wesley Matthews and rookie Dorian Finney-Smith.
Durant played the game at a calm pace, dissecting Dallas’ defense possession after possession. He joined former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden as the only players with a triple-double within the first three quarters of a game this season.
“It really means nothing, to be honest. I second what Draymond said,” Durant said. “Stats don’t really mean anything. At the end of the game, we want to play a good basketball game as a whole. It doesn’t matter who gets the assists or points or rebounds, as long as we got the W.”
Isaiah Thomas was on fire against the Heat, dropping a career-high 52 points in a Celtics’ win.
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After allowing the Mavericks to shoot 50 percent from the field in the first quarter — the score was tied after one — the Warriors’ defense cooled them off to the tune of 33 percent in the second quarter while limiting them to 19 points.
Golden State used its defensive intensity to spearhead its 30-point quarter, breaking out to a 16-point advantage in the period before heading into halftime up 11. Golden State, ranked first in opponent field-goal percentage this season, held Dallas to 42 percent shooting for the game.
In addition to his offensive prowess, Durant’s defensive skills were on display.
Early in the third quarter, Durant caused a deflection while Green gathered the loose ball. He raced up the court and penetrated toward the basket before kicking it out to Curry for a right-wing 3. As Curry got back on defense, he pointed at Durant for his defensive awareness and then pointed at Green for finding him in transition.
It was one of many big plays during a stretch that would blow the game open for Golden State.
When Thompson drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the third quarter to put the Warriors up 25, Dallas called a timeout and Matthews threw the ball high in the air in disgust.
Dallas, on the tail end of a back-to-back, went with its bench in the fourth quarter, signifying the throwing of the white flag. With a spirited effort, the reserves managed to cut the final deficit to nine in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the scoreboard suggested.
“I thought we were pretty good for three quarters,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We didn’t close the game well. I don’t want us to take winning for granted. I feel like there’s kind of an expectation for us to win, from our players, from everybody. And there’s a danger there in the expectation.
“It could take the joy out of it, and I want to make sure that our players are still out there having fun.”
Harrison Barnes, who spent his first four seasons in Golden State, entered the contest scoring 20.4 points a night and he eclipsed that average by going for a team-high of 25 points on 11-of-18 from the field.
Kerr, his former coach, said Barnes was exceeding expectations and it was evident by his aggressiveness that he wanted to prove that to the Warriors’ fans.
“He’s a lot more aggressive. He has the ultimate green light — it’s like neon green,” Kerr said of Barnes. “He’s playing well, but he’s been playing well all year. He’s playing really confident.”