Wow.

The three-letter word describes exactly what everyone was thinking after the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 134-132.

Saturday’s game possessed a bit of everything. Stephen Curry had 57 points. Luka Doncic tied his career-high with 42 points. Draymond Green tallied the strangest stat line you will ever see: two points, six rebounds, 15 assists, six steals, and four blocks.

Green’s monster stat line made him the first player with 15+ assists, five-plus rebounds, and five-plus steals in a game without making a single field goal in the last 30 years.

What NBA fans witnessed in Saturday night prime time was in fact history. It was the old guard taking on the future of the league. It was the two time MVP going blow for blow with a future MVP. And after the Warriors won the first round, Doncic came back for revenge, taking the second round in a battle for the ages.

The game by the numbers:

The second and third quarters made this game. In the frames of action, Doncic and Curry returned blow-for-blow, and both sides were unwilling to relinquish their hold on the game.

Curry scored 19 points in the second quarter alone. And to add, he did not miss a single shot, going 7-7 from the field and 5-5 from three. Curry wasn’t going to go down easy. Old champions hardly ever do. After the game, Doncic said it felt like “every shot Curry shot was going in.” And judging by this 40-foot bomb Curry hit, every shot was pretty much going to find its way into the net.

It was the same story in the third quarter as well. Except, Doncic started to return the favor. Boy wonder scored 10 of his 42 in the frame, matching every big run attempted by the Warriors with a basket of his own.

In the fourth, Luka took over the game – controlling the pace and number of possessions. He looked like a savvy veteran, undaunted by the moment and not frustrated by what hadn’t gone his way. For the first time all season, there was confidence in his ability to close the game out.

With less than a minute left, and the Warriors forcing a last-ditch run, it was Doncic again who answered with a three-point bomb at the end of the shot clock. It was as though Dallas promised itself that it was not losing this one. And for the first time all year, the players played as though they wanted to keep that promise.

Looking ahead:

Dallas won the game, but things still weren’t perfect. The team gave up an astronomical 132 points. Teams trying to put together a good stretch of basketball can’t possess non-existent defense. In the past two games, Dallas has given up 279 total points. That isn’t winning basketball. It’s asking too much of the offense to match the other team point-for-point when the defense can’t buy a stop if it wanted to do so.

Mavericks fans owe a big thank you to Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber. Powell’s 17 minutes, for Dallas, were every bit needed. He made effort plays that don’t show up in the box score, which is something the Mavs needed all year. Kleber capitalized in a big way when the Warriors went to double team Doncic near the end of the game. He hit a clutch three that all but sealed the win for Dallas on the day.

The Mavericks returned the favor on Saturday after the Warriors embarrassed the team on its own court. It had to feel good. And I suspect that, after struggling to put together wins all season, Saturday’s big win felt better than most. But now, it’s on to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Related reading on the Dallas Mavericks.

Feature image via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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