Programming note: Mavericks-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – With Dallas stars Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams watching from the bench in street clothes, the Warriors may have to search within themselves to find motivation Friday night when they face the Mavericks at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors will take the floor with a 64-7 record, needing to win nine of their final 11 games to supplant the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10, as the team with the best single-season record in league history.
Also on the line for the Warriors is their home win streak, which currently stands at 51. They are 33-0 at home this season and have stated a strong desire to go unbeaten at Oracle.
The Mavericks (35-36), challenging for the playoffs, not only bring a depleted roster – forward Chandler Parsons and guard Devin Harris also are out – but they have been reeling, losing four of their last five road games and eight of their last 10 overall.
Warriors by 17.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. Wesley Matthews: With most of the firepower out of the Dallas lineup, the bulk of the scoring load falls by default to Matthews. Coming off an Achilles tendon tear last season, he has not been able to regain top form. Thompson knows him well, as the two have engaged in numerous battles over the past few seasons. Matthews will need a career night to keep Dallas in the game.
Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L ankle sprain) and C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) are listed as out.
Mavericks: F Dirk Nowitzki (rest), G Deron Williams (abdominal strain) and F Jeremy Evans (R shoulder surgery) are listed as out. F Chandler Parsons (R knee arthroscopic surgery) and G Devin Harris (new father) are not with the team.
The Warriors have taken two of three meetings this season, losing 114-91 at Dallas on Dec. 30 but winning 127-107 on Jan. 27 at Oakland and 130-112 on March 18 at Dallas. The Warriors have won 11 of the last 14 meetings overall, including the last six in Oakland.
“It’s obviously two big contributors to what they do. But in the NBA, that’s usually when other guys get motivated to step up in their absence. We expect another fight. We want to take care of homecourt and continue building good momentum into the playoffs. This is another opportunity to do that.” – Steph Curry on the absences of Nowitzki and Williams