Welcome back, Andrew Bogut.
Playing in his first game at Oracle Arena since Nov. 7, Bogut blocked a potential game-winning shot from Brandan Wright with five seconds left to help the Warriors secure a 100-97 win against Dallas.
The shot clock was off and Dallas trailed 98-97 when Bogut knocked the ball out of Wright’s hands to Jarrett Jack, who added a pair of free throws to extend the margin.
“I just said let Brandan Wright beat me, don’t let someone else beat us. I don’t want O.J. Mayo taking a shot or Vince Carter,” Bogut said. “I just hustled my (butt) back and ran into a block by accident. If Brandan would have made that shot, I would have shook his hand and said ‘Nice shot’ because we didn’t want O.J. or Vince to get a shot.”
With two seconds to play, Carter did get a chance to tie the game coming out of a sideline out-of-bounds play, but his three at the buzzer missed badly.
The win came with point guard Stephen Curry sidelined for a second consecutive game with an ankle injury, but his absence wasn’t too much to overcome.
Considering the Warriors (29-17) welcomed back Bogut, Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry – all of whom missed Tuesday’s win at Cleveland – and Dallas (19-27) was playing without Dirk Nowitzki, it shouldn’t have been all that surprising.
The way it happened was.
Golden State scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to take a 92-79 lead with 8:47 left in the game. Momentum was clearly on the Warriors side.
Ball game? Not quite.
Dallas scored the game’s next 13 points to tie it at 92 with 4:15 remaining before a Jack three on one of David Lee’s nine assists ended the Dallas run and gave the Warriors the lead for good.
The near fourth-quarter collapse wasn’t the first double-digit lead the Warriors blew.
They were seemingly in control after taking an 80-70 lead on a bucket from Klay Thompson with two minutes left third quarter, but Dallas answered with nine straight points to end the quarter.
Two days after scoring a career-high 32 points, Thompson picked up where he left off scoring 27 points. It marked the first time in the second-year pro’s career he’s gone for 25-plus in back-to-back games.
Thompson, who was 11-for-18 with one rebound and no assists, disagreed with the notion that he was looking to score more with Curry out, but coach Mark Jackson implied otherwise.
“He’s a knockdown shooter, as good as it gets,” Jackson said. “He’s got great size, defends his tail off and he understands that we need him to score more without Steph on the floor.”
The night nearly proved historic for David Lee.
With 15 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, he almost became the first Warriors player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1964 to record at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in thee straight games. The team’s first All-Star since 1997 came a point away from adding to his NBA-leading double-double total (30) in the first half. One more assist and he would have had his second triple-double of the season and fourth of his career. The 20 rebounds marked the eighth time in his career he recorded that many in a single game.
Bogut’s impact was felt early. Seventeen seconds into the game he had his first bucket and about a minute later he picked up his first assist. He played the first 6:29 of the game before finishing the rest of the quarter on the bench, replaced initially by Andris Biedrins.
Bogut finished with eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes. He’ll be playing with a 25-minute limit until the All-Star break, at which point the team will reassess its plan for him moving forward.
“I’m still excited about the day where there’s no holds bar,” Jackson said. “We’re going to play it by ear. We’re not going to rush this thing, that’s for sure. He’s too valuable to us and we think too much of him and his own career to put him out there for selfish reasons.”
Barnes scored 12 points and finished with a career-high five assists as the Warriors improved to 13-4 when he scores in double figures.
Curry sits again with ankle injury
Before the game, Jackson didn’t express much concern while talking about Curry’s injury and said it’s possible he could play Saturday at home against Phoenix.
“That’s realistic,” Jackson said. “I really believe that if it was a playoff game or a must win, Steph Curry would be in uniform tonight, but we’re not going to put him out there until he’s right. There’s no concern.”
Curry injured his right ankle on Monday at Toronto and also sat out Tuesday’s game against Cleveland. He’s missed four games this year due to injury. In last year’s lockout-shortened season, Curry missed in 42 of 66 games, including the final 28.
Warriors turn down deal for Gay
According to a tweet from Peter Vecsey, the Warriors turned down an offer from Memphis for Rudy Gay. The deal reportedly included Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and either Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson for Gay.
Here’s the actual tweet:
Warriors have eyed Gay 4 couple yrs. Grizz wanted Barnes & Jack & would've assumed final year pact of AB or RJ. GS split decision against— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 1, 2013
No homecoming for Jared Cunningham
Dallas forward and Oakland-native Jared Cunningham missed out on the Mavericks’ only trip to Oakland this season. The rookie out of Oregon State was re-assigned to the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate on Monday.
Cunningham starred at nearby San Leandro High from 2005-2009. He guided the Pirates to the Hayward Area Athletic League title in 2009 and semifinal appearance in the North Coast Section Division I playoffs, where they were eliminated by Monte Vista of Danville.
Cunningham has appeared in eight games for the Mavericks, averaging two points and 3.3 minutes per game. The Mavericks return to Northern California on April 5 to play the Kings.
Next Up -- Phoenix
Golden State has a favorable game Saturday against Phoenix, which will hosts Dallas on Friday. The Suns (16-30) have split their last eight games after a win at Chicago on Jan. 12 put an end to a five-game skid. The teams’ only previous meeting this season was an 87-85 Warriors win at home in the season opener.
Golden State, which sits at No. 5 in the Western Conference standings, picked up a game on No. 4 Memphis. The Grizzlies dropped a 106-89 game at Oklahoma City in the only other NBA game of the day and hold a half-game lead on the Warriors.