In a game that would go a long way in determining whether the Golden State Warriors would be playoff bound, the Warriors leaned on their All-Star and never-to-be-rattled leader.
Steph Curry’s step back fade with one-tenth of a second left lifted the Warriors to a pivotal 122-120 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. The Warriors win is so much more than just a Curry game-winner. It appears the Dubs have been embroiled in a behind-the-scenes spat of late with head coach Mark Jackson re-assigning assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. Those close to the team say Jackson needs a deep run in the playoffs or Joe Lacob may look for someone else to run the club.
The Warriors star players gave their embattled coach words of support as they set out for this difficult Dallas and San Antonio road trip. David Lee says the team is 100 percent behind Jackson, while Jermaine O’Neal says Jackson has the full support of his players.
With that as the back-drop the Warriors entered a game that they absolutely needed considering they have to tango with the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow, winners of 18 in a row. Many times throughout the game it didn’t look good. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis combined for 60 points. Dirk went for 33 while the former Warrior Ellis scored 27. But, it was Curry who took the game over. Pin-pointing beautiful passes late finding his open mates and then the game-winner. Oh, that game winner. A step-back with the clock winding down to send the Warriors to a much-needed win.
The Dubs are now a season high 18 games over .500 at 46-28. They sit in the sixth spot in the Western Conference and are a full two games clear of both Phoenix and Dallas in the playoff chase with 8 games left to play. More importantly, the Dubs now have the tie-breaker with Dallas for a playoff spot, with the Mavs 2.5 games back of the Warriors.
It may not have been the biggest win of the year for the Warriors, but in a lot of respects it was the most important. With controversy hovering, the sharks swirling around Jackson. The Warriors brushed it all aside and played a game for the ages, led by a player who continues to add to his legend.