DALLAS (AP) — Stephen Curry thought about protecting his ankles. Golden State coach Steve Kerr screamed for a timeout.
The object of their preoccupation? Marreese Speights’ wayward shoe.
In a game with a weird footnote, the Warriors won their franchise-record 15th in row Saturday as Curry scored 29 points in a 105-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
“It was a bizarre sequence,” said Kerr, at 20-2 off to the fastest start ever for a first-year coach.
After Speights lost his shoe making a move for the Warriors in the third quarter, the big man’s sneaker was thrown toward midcourt to get it out of the way as the possession continued.
When the teams headed back the other way, Curry picked up the loose shoe and tried to toss it to Speights. But Mavericks center Tyson Chandler swatted the sneaker in midair, knocking it near the sideline and prompting Curry to gesture toward an official.
The blocked shoe drew the biggest roar from an otherwise quiet crowd.
“When I was on the wing, and I saw the shoe, and I immediately thought about my ankles, so I thought, ‘I got to pick that up before I try to make that move,'” Curry said. “On the other transition, when he went to go get his shoe back, but Tyson thought um, otherwise, I guess. I’ve never seen that happen before.”
Chandler said the move was purely tactical, not motivational for a team that fell behind by 21 points in the first quarter and 28 in the second before getting within seven points in the final minute of the game.
“You can’t run with a sock on,” said Chandler, who had 11 point and 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double. “I was hoping that we could exploit them at the other end until they either had to call timeout or he had to foul. But we didn’t take advantage of it.”
Chandler was pretty sure there wasn’t a rule against the swat, and Kerr was pretty sure he was ready for that to change.
“A shoe rule!” he said, laughing. “Like the Larry Bird exception. The Tyson Chandler rule. No deflecting shoes!”
Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 23 points for Dallas, approved of the move.
“That was probably the best defensive play of the night,” he said.
Curry and Klay Thompson each scored 17 in the first half, and Thompson finished with 25 as the Warriors became the 12th NBA team to open a season 20-2.
Monta Ellis scored 24 points to lead the Mavericks, who played without Chandler Parsons because of a sore back. Dallas dropped to 0-5 against the top seven teams in the Western Conference.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut had flu-like symptoms to go with right knee tendinitis that also kept him out of Wednesday’s game against Houston. … Kerr said F David Lee (strained left hamstring) has “worked well the last couple of days without any repercussions.” … Draymond Green had 20 points and eight rebounds for Golden State, and Harrison Barnes added 12 points and nine boards.
Mavericks: Coach Rick Carlisle got a technical early in the season half when he complained that Green wasn’t called for an illegal screen on Ellis as Curry came around the pick and hit a 3-pointer. … G Jameer Nelson returned after missing one game with a sore right shoulder.
Kerr made his first trip as a coach to the site of his last shining moment as a player, when he was an afterthought for San Antonio on its way to the title in 2003. He hit four 3-pointers as part of a huge fourth-quarter rally that helped the Spurs avoid a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals against the Mavericks. He had just one more 3-pointer in the playoffs before retiring after the season. “That was fun,” Kerr said.
FILLING IN FOR PARSONS
Richard Jefferson, starting in Parsons’ spot, had 13 points and 13 rebounds, his first double-double in those categories since Dec. 3, 2010, when he had 15 points and 10 boards for San Antonio against Minnesota.
Warriors at New Orleans on Sunday to finish a back-to-back.
Mavericks at New York on Tuesday.