After one of the most impressive performances by any team in the NBA all season, next for the Golden State Warriors is a chance to beat the only team they have faced that they’ve yet to defeat.
Having Stephen Curry in the lineup should make things easier this time.
Curry was out when the Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks last month, and he’ll try to help Golden State match the second-longest regular-season home win streak in NBA history Wednesday night.
Golden State (41-4) crushed San Antonio 120-90 on Monday in what turned out to be a mismatch between the NBA’s best teams. Curry, averaging a league-high 30.3 points, hit six 3-pointers and scored 37 in 28 minutes.
The comparisons between the Warriors and the 1995-96 Chicago team that won a record 72 games continue to grow. Coach Steve Kerr, who played on that Bulls team, admitted at Tuesday’s practice that the reigning league MVP’s impact reminds him of the legendary Michael Jordan.
“There is an aura that’s similar,” Kerr said. “Steph is obviously a worldwide phenomenon now and you see a thousand people watching him warm up or you see a couple hundred people at the hotel at 2 a.m. trying to get his autograph, that’s similar to the Michael phenomenon.”
Jordan fans may like to point out that he didn’t miss any games that season. Curry has missed two due to a bruised lower left leg, including a 114-91 defeat at Dallas on Dec. 30.
The Warriors have taken seven straight over the Mavericks with Curry in the lineup, although that isn’t the streak that will be on everyone’s minds Wednesday.
Golden State can match the 40-game run in the regular season at home by Orlando between March 21, 1995-March 19, 1996. The only longer streak is the 44-game stretch by Jordan’s Bulls from March 30, 1995-April 4, 1996.
The Warriors’ current four-game win streak includes road victories by 34 over Cleveland and 31 over Chicago, and is a run in which they are averaging 124.8 points on 51.5 percent shooting overall and 42.7 percent on 3-pointers.
“That’s the most exciting part about it is that yeah, we’re 41-4, yeah that’s great, a great start but we’re nowhere near where I know we’re going to get and that’s encouraging,” forward Draymond Green said.
Dallas (26-21) has dropped five straight at Golden State, and it’s not clear who will be available for the Mavericks after they had to work hard for Tuesday’s 92-90 road win over the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Dirk Nowitzki‘s tiebreaking jumper with 2.1 seconds left.
Nowitzki made 5 of 14 shots for 13 points.
“I didn’t really have touch there the entire night,” he told the Mavericks’ official website. “They did a good job and did some switching on my pick-and-rolls, and they didn’t leave me much.”
Coach Rick Carlisle has twice rested at least four starters in the second game of back-to-back sets, with Dallas going 7-4 overall in such contests. Those two instances came after games that went overtime and nobody logged more than 34 minutes in Los Angeles.