A road trip consisting of three games in three nights is always a daunting prospect, especially for an aging, injury-plagued NBA team.
But at least the Dallas Mavericks could take solace in the fact that in their journey west last week they would not encounter a winning opponent. In fact, as the Mavericks set out last Thursday, the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors were a combined 45-68.
But by the wee hours Saturday night, the Mavericks had gone 0-3 on the trip, capped by their worst loss of the season, a 111-87 beating at the hands of the Warriors.
"It was tough, but I'm not going to make any excuses about the schedule," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "We were 8 for 25 shooting in the paint in the first half. Those were great opportunities and we didn't cash in. [Warriors guard Monta] Ellis made some unbelievable shots in the third quarter. It was a bad combination."
The Mavericks had no answer for Ellis, who scored 20 points and added eight assists; David Lee (25 points, nine rebounds); or Nate Robinson, who scored 21 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
"I fed off the crowd and my teammates," Robinson said. "It just made it easy and it's fun. Basketball is fun. I try to win for my teammates and to get everybody involved, run the show and fill in for Steph or Monta."
The Mavericks, again playing without centers Brendan Haywood (ankle) and Brandan Wright (concussion), couldn't take advantage when Stephen Curry had to leave the game in the third quarter with a mild sprain of his right ankle. Curry, Golden State's third-leading scorer (15.3 points per game), was making his first start since returning from a tendon sprain in his right foot.
The Warriors never trailed, taking a 20-point lead when Robinson made a pair of foul shots early in the final period.
Ellis and Robinson combined for 25 points in the third quarter to help the Warriors carry an 83-66 advantage into the fourth.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who lost their seventh straight on the road, including three in the past three nights. Jason Terry added 15 points and Rodrigue Beaubois had 12.
"We're just not playing well enough to win games," Mavericks forward Lamar Odom said. "The chemistry is not there right now. We'll pick it up, this is a veteran team. Sometimes you have to take your lumps. We can bounce back."
Jason Kidd was given the night off to rest.
The loss ended the Mavericks' run of nine games in 12 days. They went 2-7.
It was the Mavericks' first stretch of back-to-back-to-back games since April 20-22, 1999.