NBA: Kerr hails defense as Warriors overcome Doncic triple-double

Steve Kerr credited the Golden State Warriors’ defense after his team overcame Luka Doncic’s 20th triple-double of the season to end the Dallas Mavericks’ winning run on Tuesday.

The Mavs travelled to Chase Center targeting an eighth successive victory, but they were unable to overhaul the Warriors late on after cutting their lead to 102-100 with 15 seconds remaining.

Doncic finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, recording his 48th 30-point game of the season and his second in the space of three days, but it wasn’t enough for Dallas as they fell to a 104-100 defeat.

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Two late free throws from Klay Thompson helped the Warriors close out the game, though they had earlier required a huge block from Draymond Green on Daniel Gafford as the Mavs threatened a comeback.

Speaking after the game, Kerr said: “It was our defense that got us the win. Holding those guys to 100 points is pretty difficult.

“I thought Andrew Wiggins was brilliant. He put in so much effort just trying to make Luka work. Luka was amazing as he always is, but that effort really set a tone.”

On Green’s crucial block, which was followed by the forward putting the Warriors eight points clear with a layup, Kerr said: “That was probably the key defensive play of the game, a massive play.”

The win lifted the Warriors to 41-34, three games clear of the 11th-placed Houston Rockets in the final Play-In spot in the Western Conference.

With the 45-30 Mavs focused firmly on preparing for the playoffs, Kyrie Irving said the game felt like a postseason encounter.

“It felt like a playoff atmosphere tonight as well, with the way we were going back and forth,” Irving said.

“Steph [Curry] and Klay didn’t play particularly well tonight on the offensive end, but a lot of their other guys got going. I think that was the tale of the game today.”

The Mavs are next in action at home to the surging Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, while the Warriors go to Houston for a huge clash with the Rockets on the same day.

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