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Golden State Warriors vs Dallas Mavericks Picks, Predictions & Odds
The Golden State Warriors were being competitive in the Pacific Division for a while under first-year-anywhere head coach Mark Jackson, but their true colors have seemed to come out since the All-Star break. The defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks are fighting for a chance to defend their title, needed a couple more wins and a couple losses by other teams to secure that spot in the postseason. However, two teams that are featured in one of the great playoff upsets in NBA history will take to the floor Friday night when the Warriors visit the Mavericks. These teams split their first two meetings, both in Oakland, and the Warriors scoring more than 100 points in both games. Here is a look at what to expect from both teams, plus my final score prediction to help with your NBA picks tonight.
Golden State Warriors (22-39) @ Dallas Mavericks (35-28), 8:30 p.m. ET
The Warriors lost for the sixth straight time Wednesday night a 99-87 loss to the Lakers – though it was the first time in those six games that Golden State didn’t allow 100 points. After being competitive in the first half of the season (13-17 with wins over Chicago and Miami), the Warriors traded some pieces away and have now faltered, losing 13 of the last 15 games. This game begins a three-game road trip, where the Warriors are just 2-9 in their last 11 road games and both wins were against sub-.500 teams (Minnesota and New Orleans). However, Golden State did score 100 points vs. Dallas in both meetings this season, and even beat Dallas by more than 20 points in an earlier meeting. And the Warriors are still remembered for their shocking upset of the 7-win Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs a few years ago – so could a microcosm happen again, with Dallas feeling some pressure in possibly not qualifying for the postseason?
Dallas lost consecutive games in overtime, but responded Wednesday night with a 117-110 win over the reeling Rockets, putting their Texas counterparts on the brink of playoff elimination. Dallas has been a bit inconsistent of late, going 8-8 in its last 16 games after a four-game win streak. The two losses in overtime ended a streak of 18 straight wins in games which Dallas scored at least 100 points. The last time Dallas didn’t win such a game was a 104-102 loss to Oklahoma City Dec. 29. Overall, Dallas is 19-3 when it scores 100. Why so good? It’s mostly because Dallas is a respectable 12th in the league in scoring defense (95 ppg) – which is elevated lately since Dallas has allowed 100 or more in five of the last six games.
The NBA odds list the Mavs as 12-point favorites, while the total has been posted at 203 points. On paper, this should be no contest. Dallas is trying to get into a good rhythm entering the postseason, but this might be a trap game. Dallas should win it, but it’s struggles holding teams down offensively (overtime or not) is likely a concern, as Golden State’s only chance to pick up the upset road win would be to score and try to out-gun the Mavericks. The Warriors have proven some success at scoring 100 points, but Dallas has shown that if it can score 100, it is very tough to beat – so that might mean Golden State will have to play some defense, which it hasn’t done in recent games. This could sneak up on Dallas as a trap game, but Dirk Nowitzki won’t allow it to happen, not with the playoffs still on the line.
Final Score Prediction: Mavs 105, Warriors 92