"I actually kind of liked that we struggled there for a while because we were making the same mistake we made the first few games," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "... It was good that we responded and turned it around in the second half."
A key factor in the win was exercising discipline.
"We stopped fouling," Durant said. "We put them on the free throw line in the second quarter, and that kind of ... took away all of our aggressiveness on the defensive end, and that kind of turned the game in our favor."
Kerr has openly expressed his frustration with the team's mental fatigue. He has harped on the fact that his players have yet to play a solid 48-minute game, and tonight was no exception.
Although Dallas (0-4) never held a lead, the Mavericks withstood multiple attempts by Golden State (2-2) to blow the game open in the first 24 minutes of the contest.
The Warriors put up 40 points on the Mavericks in the opening quarter. It was the 43rd time in the tenure of head coach Steve Kerr that the franchise produced a 40-point quarter. The team with the second-most in that period entering tonight was the Houston Rockets, with 16.
However, the Warriors gave up 38 points the next quarter. The consistency still isn't there.
Wesley Matthews led the Mavericks in scoring, with 19 points, with 10 of them coming in that second quarter that saw Dallas cut an 18-point lead to one point.
With less than three minutes left in the game and the Warriors holding a 25-point lead, rookie forward Jordan Bell had a transition break, threw the ball off the glass and finished with a two-handed slam while being fouled by rookie guard Gian Clavell.
The Mavericks' bench wasn't happy, believing it was unnecessary showboating. When the final buzzer sounded, Kerr walked over and apologized to Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
"I just told Rick I would talk to Jordan. He's a young guy. He's having fun out there. He didn't even realize he had offended anybody. The older guys on our team, Shaun [Livingston] and David [West], it's a different school of thought. Young guys are like, 'We're just playing basketball,' and the older guys are offended. So I talked to him."
Green had no sympathy for the Mavericks' feelings.
"Somebody is evaluating you," Green said. "So you have to play the game like it's tied up ... So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free, and dunk the ball. He got an and-1. It was a great play. So I don't have a message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. I don't get off into the whole, 'Ah man, they're winning by this much. That's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to just grabbing it and dunking it. It's a dunk. So, nah, I don't get off into that. Great play. Great play."
At one juncture in the second half, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. attempted to dunk on Green, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Green challenged the guard at the rim and fouled him.
Immediately after the play, Smith began jawing at Green, to which Green replied, "Never ever." When asked about that exchange after the contest, Green didn't hold back.
"Yeah, that s--- ain't happening," Green said adamantly. "This ain't Summer League, bro. That s--- don't dunk on nobody. Better luck next time ... Never. It ain't happening. Come on, dude."
Under Kerr, the Warriors are 34-7 following a loss. Golden State (2-2) exits this three-game road trip 2-1. The Toronto Raptors are next up at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.