The Dallas Mavericks didn’t show enough fight when it mattered most in their last game, leading to a loss against a team they’re chasing in the Western Conference.
The Mavericks have had a much easier time against the Golden State Warriors, and they’ll look to complete the season sweep while trying for their seventh straight win in the series Saturday night.
Dallas (53-22) is trailing San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers in the West, but its chances of moving into the No. 2 spot took a big hit after a 110-82 loss to the Lakers on Thursday.
The Mavs had their five-game winning streak snapped, although all the victories were against teams not in playoff contention. Facing a tougher opponent, Dallas shot 36.1 percent while Dirk Nowitzki(notes) was the only starter to score in double figures, finishing with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 13 rebounds.
“It’s a good check. We have to grow up,” center Tyson Chandler(notes) said. “If we are going to get to where we want to go, we are going to have nights like this, and we are going to have to step up to the challenge.”
The 82 points were the fewest for Dallas since an 82-77 loss at Chicago on Jan. 20.
Other than Nowitzki, the most fight Dallas showed came in the fourth quarter when Jason Terry(notes) and Brendan Haywood(notes) were ejected after a shoving match with Matt Barnes(notes) and Steve Blake(notes), who were also thrown out.
“It was a chippy game, but the playoffs start early,” Nowitzki said. “That’s what the playoffs are all about. Emotions are going to run high and things are going to happen.”
Dallas bounced back from its previous two losses with wins over Golden State, including 101-73 at home March 20.
Golden State (32-44) has lost two straight and eight of 10. The Warriors fell 110-91 at Memphis on Wednesday, failing to score 100 points for the first time in five games.
Curry shot 2 of 14 from the field and had six turnovers.
“I think because we are a team that is still growing, you have to understand how to win on the road and how to win in tough buildings and tough environments,” coach Keith Smart said. “And how to win when you are tired and banged up at this time of the year.
“This is all a learning stage for us.”
Ellis left the game late with a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day.
If Ellis is unable to play, it would leave Golden State without its top scorer at 24.1 points per game, and Curry has averaged 10.5 points on 8-of-22 shooting in the last two meetings with Dallas.