DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Golden State Warriors by a final score of 108-106 on Friday night. It was a huge victory for Dallas, as they earned the win despite Luka Doncic's injury absence. PJ Washington stepped up in a pivotal manner and scored 32 points to lead Dallas. The Warriors-Mavericks clash also provided an opportunity for future Hall-of-Famers Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry to go head-to-head once again.

Both Irving and Curry performed well on Friday night. Kyrie scored 26 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists. Curry, meanwhile, kept Golden State in the game with his 28-point performance. It's always an exciting matchup when Curry and Irving battle given their history throughout the years, and Kyrie addressed playing against Steph after the game.

“I mean, it's not a one-on-one battle between me and Steph, man, as much as fans make it,” Irving told reporters. “I don't know how long that conversation… It will probably continue until he retires or I retire. You know, it's just comparison, he's a point guard, I'm a point guard. He's won four championships, I've won one. We played against each other in the Finals a few times. He has a winning record.

“For me, I just show respect to the guys like that.”

Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry head-to-head matchups

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) shoots the the game winning shot during the fourth quarter against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.
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As Irving noted, basketball is a team game and it is not just a one-on-one battle between the superstar guards. However, they have often been tasked with defending one another which has led to a number of memorable head-to-head matchups.

Irving has averaged over 24 points per game when facing Curry. Steph, meanwhile, has averaged 23.4 points per outing in clashes against Kyrie.

As far as team success is concerned, Curry and Irving have gone back-and-forth. In fact, Curry narrowly owns the better win-loss record, holding a 10-9 mark against Irving during the regular season, per StatMuse. Curry is 8-5 against Irving in the postseason as well.

But it was Irving who played a pivotal role in the Cleveland Cavaliers' comeback NBA Finals victory over Curry's Warriors in 2016. Curry has won four championships while playing for an extremely talented Golden State team. In all reality, though, the Cavs would not have won the 2016 NBA Finals without Kyrie Irving despite LeBron James and Kevin Love's presence on the roster.

Through all of the battles over the years, Curry has clearly earned Irving's respect.

“He's (Curry) put in a ton of work in our league,” Irving continued. “He's set the bar for a lot of us point guards of where we want to be. You know, we're still chasing his legacy… It's just inevitable as a competitor to want to play well against somebody like that. He brings the best out of you.

“He's going to come in and do his Steph Curry things, he's going to wow the crowd… For me, I just try to take some of his strengths that he does well and incorporate into my game. And I'm sure he's taken things from me. We just learn from one another. Just that mutual respect.”

Kyrie's Mavericks, Steph's Warriors could meet in playoffs

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks to score as Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends during the first half at American Airlines Center.
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Dallas currently holds the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. They have played a quality brand of basketball in recent action. The Mavs are hoping to carry their momentum into the postseason.

The Warriors are No. 10 overall in the West. They are on track to clinch an NBA Play-In Tournament Spot. If they can take care of business in their play-in games, perhaps we will see a Warriors-Mavericks postseason clash.

Other stars such as Luka Doncic, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will play important roles in a potential Mavs-Warriors playoff series. However, the Kyrie Irving-Stephen Curry head-to-head matchup would draw no shortage of attention.

“I don't know if we will ever give the fans what they truly want out of our matchups,” Irving said of playing against Curry. “But it's just exciting to be in the league with a guy like that. To see him just break records… every season. I'm still trying to scratch at this 50/40/90 season this year. I think he's done it once or twice. It's easy to sit up here and kind of say negative things about a guy like that. But no, it's all positivity.

“And when we get on the court, we're going to go at each other. That's the way it should be.”