With the status of three of their starters still uncertain, Terry and the Mavericks look to take advantage of an injury-riddled Warriors team Tuesday night.
Dallas (10-3) has already matched its longest winning streak from last season with five straight victories despite playing the last two games without starters Josh Howard(notes) (ankle), Shawn Marion(notes) (ankle) and Erick Dampier(notes) (unknown illness).
Howard has missed five straight games, with no timetable for his return, and Marion is uncertain after sitting out the last two contests.
Dampier, meanwhile, is undergoing tests. The Mavericks expect to know more this week.
“There are still tests to be done,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re going to let this battery of things go on and be absolutely sure of the prognosis.”
Terry, though, has remained on the bench, and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year has gotten much-needed help from his fellow reserves.
Terry scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and Dallas got 52 points overall from its bench in a 104-102 win over Sacramento on Friday night. Mavs reserves scored 25 of the team’s 36 fourth-quarter points.
“The emphasis has been on the bench guys from the start,” Dallas backup forward Kris Humphries(notes) said. “It starts with Jason Terry coming off the bench first. We’ve got to bring energy. It’s an important part of the team.”
Golden State has eight players out due to injuries, including starters Andris Biedrins(notes) (back) and Kelenna Azubuike(notes) (patellar tendon), and suited up the NBA-minimum eight players in Friday night’s 108-94 win over Portland.
Monta Ellis(notes) and Anthony Morrow(notes) played all 48 minutes to help snap a three-game losing streak for the Warriors, who were forced to sign Chris Hunter(notes) from the NBA Development League before the game just to meet the eight-player minimum.
A lack of backup help, though, may not be much of an issue if the Warriors continue to get outstanding performances from Ellis, who scored a season-high 34 points and tied his career high with six steals. The veteran guard is averaging 24.6 points over his last five games.
Ellis, playing in an up-tempo offense under coach Don Nelson, believes he doesn’t gets enough credit for his defense.
“It definitely gets overlooked,” Ellis said. “I hear people say Monta can’t play defense, but if you go back and look at the tapes, you don’t see Monta getting burned. I can do that day-in and day-out.”
In addition to the player injuries, the Warriors will be without Nelson for their two games in Texas after he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Nelson will also miss their game Wednesday at San Antonio, and he may return to the sideline for Golden State’s home game versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.
Golden State has surrendered an average of 119.3 points in losing its last four at Dallas. The Mavericks went 2-1 versus the Warriors last season.