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 a row Saturday as Curry scored 29 points in a 105-98 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas.
"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 points 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.
Nets 114, Hornets 87 - Joe Johnson scored 22 points, Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee had double-doubles, and Brooklyn beat host Charlotte.
Johnson was 9 of 16 from the field and 4 of 6 from three-point range as the Nets shot 16 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Williams had 18 points and 10 assists, and Plumlee outplayed counterpart Al Jefferson with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets (10-12), who eclipsed 100 points for the first time in 11 games.
Bucks 111, Clippers 106 - Brandon Knight scored 22 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20, and host Milwaukee beat Los Angeles.
Blazers 95, Pacers 85 - LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 14 rebounds, Damian Lillard added 18 points and Portland finished its five-game road trip with the victory in Indianapolis.
Magic 100, Hawks 99 - Tobias Harris got a leaning, 13-foot jumper to rattle in at the buzzer, giving host Orlando the victory that snapped Atlanta's nine-game winning streak.
Barnes fined $25,000
Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes was fined $25,000 for kicking a water bottle into the stands and directing profane language at fans on Friday night at Washington.
The incident occurred with 2:09 left in the Clippers' 104-96 loss to the Wizards.
- Associated Press