Basketball: Hapless Dallas Mavericks feel wrath of Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry stealing the ball from Dallas Mavericks' J.J. Barea. The champions have a 2-2 record this season.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry stealing the ball from Dallas Mavericks' J.J. Barea. The champions have a 2-2 record this season.PHOTO: REUTERS

Star takes it out on opponents instead, having been fined $68,000 for on-court dissent

DALLAS (Texas) • Stephen Curry escaped a suspension from the league on Monday night, then led the Golden State Warriors to a 133-103 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Centre.

Curry had to wait until Monday afternoon to get a verdict from the NBA office whether he would be allowed to play.

During Golden State's 10-point loss at Memphis on Saturday, he lost his cool and threw his mouthpiece in the direction of the referee.

Once he learnt he would only get a US$50,000 (S$68,078) fine, the two-time NBA MVP (Most Valuable Player) finished with a game-high 29 points and added eight assists.

He made up for cold three-point shooting (two-of-10) by going 13-of-13 from the free-throw line to help the NBA champions Warriors improve to 2-2.

The Mavs (0-4) fell behind by 18 in the second quarter, but used a 38-23 run to close the half trailing just 65-62.

"I actually kind of liked that we struggled there for a while because we were making the same mistakes, turnovers, not talking on defence and not boxing out," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It's good that we responded and turned it around in the second half."

Kevin Durant finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Klay Thompson added 21 points for Golden State while Draymond Green had 10 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

IRONING OUT THE KINKS

I actually kind of liked that we struggled there for a while... It's good that we responded and turned it around in the second half.

STEVE KERR, Golden State Warriors coach, on his side taking a while to get into a rhythm before coming away with a resounding 133-103 win.

Thompson and Curry were just five-of-19 combined from beyond the arc, and yet Golden State still shot 55.8 per cent overall.

Wesley Matthews led Dallas with 19 points, netting 14 in a big first half. Harrison Barnes, Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea each had 13 points, while Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 and rookie Dennis Smith Jr had 10.

Following the three-point deficit at half-time, the second half got off to an ominous start for the home team.

Dallas were whistled before the clock even started for a delay-of-game technical foul for getting on the floor late.

Curry hit the free throw to make it 66-62, and a rapid-fire four minutes later, Golden State had rebuilt a 15-point advantage.

The Warriors led 100-84 after three quarters and were off to the races.

A moment of controversy crept into the end of the game when Warriors reserve Jordan Bell passed to himself off the backboard on a breakaway and slammed the rebound, while getting fouled on the play.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle did not like it, and Kerr understood.

"I just told Rick I would talk to (Bell)," Kerr said.

"He's a young guy, having fun out there, and he didn't even realise he had offended anybody."

In Detroit, Australia's Ben Simmons recorded his first NBA triple-double in only his fourth league contest for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 21-year-old from Melbourne, last year's NBA draft top pick who missed all of last season with a right foot injury, scored 21 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and passed out a game-high 10 assists for the Sixers in a 97-86 triumph over the Pistons.

Simmons became the first NBA player in 50 years to manage a triple-double within his first four league starts. Art Williams of the 1967-68 San Diego Rockets and Oscar Robertson of the 1960 Cincinnati Royals were the only other two who managed the feat.

"I'm just glad we won, honestly," said Simmons. "That means so much more than stats for me."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2017, with the headline 'Hapless Mavs feel wrath of Curry'. Print Edition | Subscribe