Apr 1, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles during the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Curry's Game Winner Ends Contest of the Year Against Dallas Mavericks

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Apparent from Tuesday’s game in Mavericks, a team can beat another team on the road when they shoot just six free throws. Again, banged up from injury, the hobbled Golden State Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks almost at the horn thanks to Stephen Curry, who finished with 23 points. With 0.1 seconds left, Curry hit a step-back jump shot in the face of Jose Calderon for the 122-120 overtime win and the series victory 3-1 over the Mavericks.

This was a wild game, to say the least.

To start off, the Warriors stormed out of the gates and led by Klay Thompson, who finished with 27 points (14 in the second half and OT), was able to lead things with a few nice assists and driving to the hoop. Since Dallas really doesn’t have a stand-out shot-blocker, points in the paint really got the job done for them, finishing with 62 of those.

In the second quarter, Dallas went on a scorching run to cut the Warriors lead and didn’t stop there. One of the all-time greats, Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds, continued to score on the smaller Draymond Green not only in the post, but also from the 3-point line. Dallas continually hit 3-pointers, and turned a 9-point deficit into a 9-point lead, much like the New York Knicks did on Sunday evening. One lifeline for the Warriors was Jordan Crawford, who once again scored 19 points against the Mavericks.

On the road, down nine, the Warriors had to start the quarter off strong, and that they did. They immediately were able to work themselves back into a 5-point game, and continue to chip away at the lead. Finally, they overtook the Mavericks and held the advantage until the end of the third quarter where they lead 85-81.

Things started to get a bit chippy in the fourth quarter, where there were many lead changes. In the final couple of minutes, players like Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, who finished with 27 points, Curry, Thompson, and Andre Iguodala, who scored  16 points, attacked each other and went head-to-head in a clutch-type battle. Finally, the Warriors gained possession with 40 seconds left and a 108-108 tie.

Thompson drove to the basket and tried to go up, but had the ball knocked out of his hands by Nowitzki, who may have fouled him. There was no call, however, and Marreese Speights was blocked by Shawn Marion at the rim. The Warriors secured the offensive rebound, bled the clock as much as possible, and Curry missed a 3-pointer. On the other end, Ellis fumbled the ball and turned it over without a score.

In overtime, the Mavericks built a 4-point lead thanks to a 3-pointer from Nowitzki. Andre Iguodala then scored a jump-shot. After a couple of back-and-forth plays, where the Warriors seemed to be taken out of it, Curry nailed a jumpshot to give the Warriors a 1-point lead. On the ensuing possession, the Mavericks secured an offensive rebound, and Jose Calderon hit a deep 3-pointer to give them a 120-118 advantage. After a Jermaine O’Neal dunk to knot things up, Ellis was “blocked” (may have been goal-tended) at the rim by O’Neal, and the Warriors played for one shot.

As you know, Curry drilled a step-back and the game was over.

This was another great win for the road-Warriors who proved their mentality and their perseverance. Fortunately for them, three games now separate them from the Mavericks, and they have some breathing room going into San Antonio.

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