Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35), shoot the ball as Dallas Mavericks forward Nicolas Brussino (9), tries to block it during the first half of their game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. on Wednesday. (Aleah Fajardo/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors cruise past shorthanded Mavs

OAKLAND — Throughout the opening weeks of the Golden State Warriors’ season, Klay Thompson has repeatedly shrugged off questions about his early shooting slump.

On Wednesday night, he showed exactly why. Thompson scored 18 of the team’s first 23 points, as the Warriors took apart the Dallas Mavericks, 116-95. During his early burst, Thompson went 7-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.

“It was good to see him get the 3-point stroke going and he started out on fire,” head coach Steve Kerr said.

As a team, the Warriors were 14-of-20 from downtown in the first half, coming one shot short of tying the franchise record.

Thompson’s strong start to the game mirrored the team’s night at large. The Warriors took a 67-36 lead into the break before allowing the Mavs somewhat back into the game in the second half.

“We really butchered that third quarter and Dallas played really well and so we had to keep going and keep playing,” Kerr said.

After his lights-out first quarter, Thompson only scored one bucket the rest of the way.

“I still have a long way to go to where I’m going to get to,” Thompson said. “We just need to put together two halves. I’m happy with how hard we played in the first half — the ball was moving beautifully and we’re getting there, though. It’s a long process but we’re on the right track.”

The Mavs were as close as 13 points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but were never able to cut the deficit to single digits.

The other three members of the big four made sure of that. Like Thompson, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green all hit four 3-pointers.

Durant scored a team-high 28 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds. With his showing against the Mavs, Durant has now scored at least 20 points in 72 consecutive games — tying Michael Jordan for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history.

Green produced his third double-double of the season, going for 16 points and 10 rebounds. Green’s four 3-balls matched his season total entering the night.

After the game, Green admitted he’s been hesitant to hoist threes as he struggles to find his rhythm.

“Shooting well or not, you’ve got to shoot the ball with confidence,” Green said. “And tonight I did that and was able to hit a few.”

With the Mavs in town, the Warriors welcomed Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut back to Oracle Arena. The pair of former Dubs received a standing ovation from the home crowd before the game, but aside from a first-quarter highlight video on the big board, that was the extent of Bogut’s involvement.

While the veteran center rested for the second leg of the Mavs back-to-back, Barnes paced the visitors with 25 points.

“That’s why he got paid what he did because he’s got so much potential,” Thompson said of Barnes. “He’s a nice guy, he’s played great this year and I expect him to sustain it throughout the year.”

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