DALLAS – Harrison Barnes wasn’t about to make any excuses for one of his worst performances of the season.
Barnes scored just five points for the Dallas Mavericks on 2-of-10 shooting on Tuesday, and the Golden State Warriors used a torrid attack at both ends of the floor to get out of American Airlines Center with a lopsided 112-87 victory.
It was just the fourth time all season Barnes has been held under 10 points, and was his second-lowest scoring output of the season.
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"You’ve got to give them credit – it was great team defense,’’ Barnes said of the Warriors. "The first two times we played against them I saw mostly single coverage, but tonight they zoned up a lot.’’
Coach Rick Carlisle believes the gas meter in Barnes’ tank is running low, since the five-year veteran also scored a season-low four points tow games ago during a loss in Philadelphia.
"Barnes has played every single game this year, including all of the exhibitions, which is probably a mistake on my part,’’ Carlisle said. "But he wants to play, he wants to be one of those guys that’s dependant on all the time.
"I’m afraid a night like tonight is a combination of them being a great team and a great defensive team, and him being a little out of gas. So we got to get him re-charged tomorrow – and there’s other guys, too.’’
However, Barnes bristled at the notion that his low production games can be contributed to fatigue.
"I didn’t seem to run out of gas in the last game, so I wouldn’t say it is fatigue,’’ Barnes said, referring to the 19 point she scored Sunday in Brooklyn. "Like I said, we’ve got to give them credit.
"They had a great team defensive coverage tonight."
The Warriors held the Mavs to 35.9 percent shooting and outscored Dallas 46-28 in the paint.
"That’s just a good basketball team,’’ said Barnes, who played his first four seasons with the Warriors. "I think a lot of times some of these mistakes we make against other teams they haven’t had the same personnel that this team has to exploit you,’’ Barnes said. "Some of it is missed communications on some screens, ball-screen situations, coverages and other stuff like that.
"That led to a lot of wide open threes and wide open layups.’’
In the meantime, nothing particularly noteworthy happened in the much-ballyhooed matchup between the Curry brothers.
Warriors guard Steph Curry didn’t even play in the fourth quarter and finished with 17 points, five rebounds and nine assists, and was 7-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-9 from 3-point land.
Mavs guard Seth Curry tallied just 10 points, and also had three rebounds and four assists and was 4-of-12 from the field and 1-of-4 from 3-point territory and is now nursing a sore left shoulder. Seth Curry is now 0-6 against his brother, while the Warriors wound up sweeping the season series from the Mavs this year 3-0.
Steph Curry paused to pay homage to his baby brother, who is in his fourth season and appears to have finally gotten his career pointed in the right direction.
"Just knowing that we were going to be out there for extended minutes playing against each other is a surreal kind of feeling, seeing your brother, who you’ve been battling with since you can remember, out on the NBA floor,’’ Steph Curry said. "It’s amazing to see what he has done here in Dallas, taking his game to the next level and showing them what he is really about.
"He has always had the confidence – he just needed the opportunity and the right situation that can showcase what he is about and his skills on the court. He has done that here."
And done it in a way that’s made his big brother extra proud.
"I think you saw some bright spots in Sacramento last year, but his opportunities were kind of sporadic. He is an unbelievable player, he is skilled in all areas of the game. With the ball in his hands, usually good things happen.’’
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 16 points and nine boards, and Nerlens Noel came off the bench to collect 14 points and seven rebounds in only 17 minutes.
Nowitzki said of the Warriors: "They probably make you pay more than any team I’ve ever seen in my career on little mistakes."
This was the first of a four-game home stand for the Mavs, who fell to 30-40 and four games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. And it doesn’t get any easier for the Mavs, who host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
From there, the Mavs host Toronto on Saturday and Oklahoma City on Monday before they head out for a five-game road trip.
"All of these teams that we are playing coming up are teams that are top of the Western Conference, top of the Eastern Conference,’’ Barnes said. "Our attention to detail has to be better.
"If we mess up on this or that, these teams have the personnel that can extend (the lead) quickly and it will be hard for us to fight our way back into games."