OAKLAND -- With a towel around his neck and a warm-up shirt over his Warriors jersey, Stephen Curry ran onto the court in celebration.
The excitement was understandable given that the Warriors' bench players had stunningly dominated the Dallas Mavericks and sparked Golden State's 108-85 win Tuesday against a fellow Western Conference contender.
With a road game against the Los Angeles Clippers looming Wednesday, Curry got some much-needed rest while being cautious with his strained right quadriceps.
Backup guard Jordan Crawford had the hot hand as the Warriors won their fifth straight, scoring 14 of his 19 points in a 10-minute stretch during which he was 6 for 6 from the field, including a long jump shot to beat the first-quarter buzzer.
Steve Blake came in for Curry and oversaw the Warriors' comeback from a 16-8 deficit to take a 45-27 lead with 6:58 left in the second quarter after Crawford buried a turnaround fadeaway. Blake finished with nine points and eight assists, with coach Mark Jackson calling him "a maestro" after the game.
"You watch the great teams in this league, and that's how they handle business," Jackson said. "They win ballgames. They get their star players rest. They take care of business, and that's exactly what we did tonight."
Midseason trade acquisitions Blake and Crawford along with Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green hit 3-pointers while Jermaine O'Neal had six of his seven rebounds during the sudden turn of events.
The starters seemed energized by the second unit as Curry bounded off the bench when Dallas was forced to call timeout before he checked back into the game. The starters' collective reaction?
"Lovin' it," center Andrew Bogut said.
Andre Iguodala proceeded to block the Mavericks' Shawn Marion and on the other end of the court had a one-handed putback dunk off a missed Curry 3-pointer to force another timeout. Bogut had three dunks to cap his 15-point night, all of which were scored on the first half on 7-for-8 shooting.
Dallas went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to nine at the start of the third quarter, but Curry responded with a 3-point play. The Warriors held a double-digit lead for the rest of the game, pushing the lead to as many as 24 points.
Former Warriors guard Monta Ellis led Dallas with 15 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 12, but the Warriors didn't let up in the second half as the starters got their rest.
"We have a legitimate second unit with no weaknesses," Jackson said.
Blowing out Dallas enabled Curry to get plenty of time on the bench headed into the second game of a back-to-back. He played only 22 minutes, scoring 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting while collecting four assists and three turnovers.
"You look at last year about this time, we're in the same kind of race, and the starters were playing 45 minutes a night, and I know it took its toll on me to the point where I got injured," forward David Lee said. "It's the time of year when any time you can get rest it's huge, especially with a big back-to-back tomorrow."
The Warriors, who held Dallas to 36.6 percent shooting, have won 10 of 12 games since the All-Star break. They most recently beat Phoenix and Dallas at a time when each opponent entered Oracle Arena with the seventh-best record in the Western Conference and one spot below Golden State.
The Mavericks dropped to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference standings and three games behind Golden State.
The Warriors' game at the Los Angeles Clippers pits them against the Pacific Division leader by four games and the hottest team in the NBA riding an eight-game winning-streak.
at L.A. Clippers (45-20), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA
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