The Dallas Mavericks will tip off a five-game trip without Luka Doncic when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in San Francisco.
Doncic suffered a bruised right heel in Thursday’s 111-106 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans, having already contributed 31 points to the victory in his 23 minutes.
The Mavericks, who have won two in a row, hope to get their All-Star starter back during their eight-day trip. And if so, he likely will be joined by Christian Wood, who is pointing toward Monday at Utah or Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers for his return from a fractured left thumb.
Dallas has yet to win this season in six games without Doncic in the lineup, losing by an average of 12.5 points.
The Mavericks nearly let Thursday’s game slip away as well after Doncic left the game for good with the home team up 84-57 near the midpoint of the third quarter. Dallas was outscored 49-27 the rest of the way.
Josh Green helped save the day for the Mavericks, saving seven of his 15 points for the final period while finishing off a 30-minute night off the bench.
Afterward, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd indicated opponents can expect to see more of Green in the future.
“I thought being able to get the ball into his hands and being able to play off of him is something we need to look at more,” Kidd said. “We’ve given him more responsibilities in playmaking in practice and he’s responded in a positive way. You could see he wasn’t afraid of the moment (late in the New Orleans game).”
The Mavericks will be playing in San Francisco for the first time since seeing their 2022 season end there in a 120-110 defeat in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals last May. Doncic had 28 points and Spencer Dinwiddie 26 in the defeat.
Dallas got a small measure of revenge in a 116-113 home win over the Warriors in November. Doncic (41 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (22) led the way in that one.
The loss was just one of 20 Golden State has suffered on the road in 27 outings this season. The Warriors have been a completely different animal at home, however, going 19-6, including victories over the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in their most recent San Francisco dates.
Golden State went without veterans Draymond Green (calf) and Klay Thompson (illness) on the second night of a back-to-back in Denver on Thursday and suffered a 134-117 defeat. Both players are listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.
The Warriors have lost two straight, including a 119-114 overtime affair Wednesday at Minnesota.
One highlight for the Warriors from the Denver loss was the play of James Wiseman, who hadn’t left the bench in his previous four games since being cleared to play following an 11-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. The young big man had nine points, two rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes against the Nuggets.
“(He) came in and looked good,” Kerr assessed. “I thought JaMychal (Green) had a really good first half. It was good to see him out there after missing the last couple of games. And Donte (DiVincenzo) continues to play at a high level. So I like what we saw from our bench.”
The Warriors expect Green and Thompson back for the opener of a two-game homestand that also will see the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town on Monday. Stephen Curry (leg) is probable.
Dinwiddie (knee) is questionable for Dallas.
–Field Level Media