They committed too many turnovers and received no real help from their bench, both elements that have been a recurring problem in the first month of the season.
Dallas scored 30 points off 19 turnovers, and it crushed the Warriors.
"You can't go on the road against a good basketball team and give them extra possessions,'' coach Mark Jackson said. "That's not who were are and that's not the way we're built. We turned it over, we were careless and we paid the price.''
The primary culprit was Stephen Curry, which stands to reason insofar as the point guard is the primary ball-handler. Curry's game-high 29 points, along with eight assists, were offset by six turnovers – as many as the Mavericks committed as a team.
When turnovers weren't taking down the Warriors, the Dallas bench was. Though Dirk Nowitzki's 22 points led the Mavericks, five others scored in double figures – including DeJuan Blair and Jae Crowder off the bench. The Warriors' bench was outscored 43-13 by Mavs subs.
For a road team playing its second game in two nights, an ineffectual bench usually results in defeat.
"They played well,'' Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of his backups. "Of all the games we've played all year, tonight was the night we really needed the bench to step up and be big, really at both ends of the court, and they were.''
Yet the Warriors, somehow, kept climbing back into the game. They cut it to six early in the final quarter, fell behind by 17 and then cut to four in the final minutes.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, that only provided evidence of energy not visible earlier in the game.
"You could tell in the fourth quarter that we picked it up tremendously,'' Curry said. "For us to play that hard in the last quarter in a back-to-back, it's frustrating. We need to figure out how to come out stronger, better, and more consistent in the first half – not have any lows, especially on the road.''
THE GOOD: Lee played one of his better games this season, particularly on offense. He was efficient, scoring 20 points on 14 shots. He was aggressive, grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds and passing for three assists. He was plus-14 for the game. No teammate was even close.
THE BAD: Oh, those turnovers. The Warriors, as a team, finished with 19 – one more than their total of 18 assists.
THE FUTURE: The Warriors stayed in Dallas Wednesday night, plan a brief morning practice for Thursday before making the short flight to Oklahoma City. They will have Thanksgiving Dinner together late Thursday afternoon, then face the Thunder on Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Warriors have not won since Dec. 11, 2008.