National Basketball Association
Mavericks-Warriors Preview
National Basketball Association

Mavericks-Warriors Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:00 p.m. ET

Though still not the highest priority, Steve Kerr won't deny his Golden State Warriors players the opportunity to chase history.

The defending NBA champions look to move another step closer to achieving the league's single-season victories record when they put their unprecedented home winning streak on the line Friday night against the fading Dallas Mavericks.

Having spent much of his team's brilliant season side-stepping questions pertaining to the Warriors' flirtation with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' benchmark of 72 regular-season wins, Kerr - a member of that legendary Bulls team - finally acknowledged his willingness to see his players reach the milestone.

''That's pretty enticing," Kerr said of the record prior to Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. "It's the players who are setting the record. It's not the organization, so they will absolutely have some say in matters down the stretch in terms of how we approach everything.''


Golden State (64-7) needs to go 9-2 to eclipse the mark and has the remaining schedule working in its favor. The Warriors play eight more times at Oracle Arena, where they extended their own NBA standard with a 51st consecutive regular-season win in Wednesday's 114-98 victory.

The first order of business remains securing the West's top seed. With San Antonio still four games off the pace and two games remaining versus the Spurs, Kerr plans to keep going at full throttle until that objective is reached.

''I've maintained all along we're trying to get the 1 seed. That's a really important deal for us. We're not there yet,'' he said. ''Could a couple of our guys use a little mental rest and take a night off? Probably,'' Kerr said. ''But I wouldn't do that at the expense of losing games and possibly losing the 1 seed.''

Golden State figures to have a good chance of moving nearer to both goals with Dallas (35-36) having lost eight of 10 and without third-leading scorer Chandler Parsons, sidelined by a potential season-ending meniscus tear in his right knee.

The swoon continued in Wednesday's opener of a four-game trip, where the Mavericks committed 17 turnovers that led to 22 Portland points in a 109-103 loss that trimmed their dwindling lead over Houston and Utah for seventh in the West to one-half game.

''We didn't shoot particularly well,'' guard Wesley Matthews said. "But 17 turnovers, and how we turned it over, was fueling their break. They're a tough team when you give them possessions like that.''

Dallas is allowing 110.4 points per game since Feb. 5 and has permitted 101 or more 17 times over that 19-game stretch. Golden State, the league's highest scoring team, is 63-2 when scoring 100 or more.

The Mavericks did deal the Warriors a 114-91 defeat on Dec. 30, though Stephen Curry didn't play due to a lower leg injury. They haven't stopped Klay Thompson in the two other matchups, with the All-Star guard recording 45 points in a 127-107 home win on Jan. 27 and 39 in last Friday's 130-112 road victory.

Curry had 33 against the Clippers after going 3 of 21 from 3-point range in his previous two games. Thompson added 32 and is shooting 59.7 percent from 3 while averaging 24.4 points over his last nine.

Dallas' best hopes rest on a continued hot streak from Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a season-high 40 in Sunday's 132-120 win over Portland and is averaging 26.1 over a nine-game stretch.

Matthews is 11 of 17 on 3s over the last two games but was held to six points on 2-of-9 shooting in last week's loss to Golden State.


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