If the Warriors have been able to assert themselves against any Western Conference playoff team, it is the Mavericks, who visit Oracle Arena on Friday night.
The last time the teams met in Oakland, on Feb. 4, Stephen Curry scored a season-high 51 points in a 128-114 victory.
Moreover, the Warriors (47-12) are a league-best 25-2 at home and have won seven of the last nine meetings against Dallas (40-23) – and six of the last seven at Oracle.
Dallas over the past eight months has bolstered its squad with three significant moves, signing free agent Chandler Parsons, trading for Rajon Rondo and signing free agent Amar'e Stoudemire. Yet the Mavs' record is only three games better than it was at the same juncture last season.
Warriors by 9.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Draymond Green vs. Dirk Nowitzki: In his 17th season, Dirk isn't the formidable weapon of yore. Yet he remains a serious threat from midrange and beyond. Green wants to crowd him on defense, while on offense trying to force the "old" dude to chase him around the perimeter.
Curry vs. Rondo. Rondo came over from Boston in December and still has integrating himself into the ways of the Mavericks. It has been a bumpy path. He is talented, though, and could get it going any day. Curry has to keep him too busy to get things clicking on Friday.
Andrew Bogut vs. Tyson Chandler: There have been many occasions in the past when Chandler has hurt the Warriors, particularly with his rebounding. Bogut doesn't need to match him in that area. He simply needs to make sure Chandler doesn't own the glass.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
1) Sprint from the jump. Catching Dallas on the second night of a back-to-back set, after a 94-75 loss at Portland on Thursday night, the Warriors will want to set a blistering pace at the outset.
2) Park on the arc. Chandler provides interior defense, but there are holes in the perimeter. The Mavericks are 27th in the NBA in defending 3-point field goals.
3) Win the turnover battle. Dallas is among the best in the league at limiting its turnovers. That's one of the ways they've been able to offset mediocre defense.
Warriors 7-3, Mavericks 5-5.
Warriors: No injuries reported.
Mavericks: G J. J. Barea (left thumb sprain) and G Devin Harris (bruised right hand) are listed as questionable. F Chandler Parsons (left ankle bone bruise) is listed as out.
C Ognjen Kuzmic and F James Michael McAdoo are on assignment with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
The Warriors won the first two meetings this season, Dec. 13 in Dallas and Feb. 4 in Oakland, and have beaten the Mavs five consecutive times dating back to last season. The Warriors have not won six straight over Dallas since 1997. The Warriors lost the season series in each of the five seasons prior to 2012-13.