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  Tuesday, Nov. 2 8:30pm ET
Finley keeps Mavs from falling behind

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks say they want to make Reunion Arena the kind of place opponents are afraid to visit.

And they say it with a straight face.

The Mavericks, coming off their first winning record at home in nine years, backed up their words Tuesday night by never trailing the Golden State Warriors en route to a season-opening 108-96 victory.

"When you have a team like we have that's not won in the past, you have to establish yourself somewhere," guard Robert Pack said. "You have to let teams know that coming in here that they're going to be in for a dogfight."

This uptempo game between teams that have gone a combined 14 seasons without making the playoffs could hardly be called a dogfight. Not when Golden State's starting frontcourt scored 20 points and the team committed 23 turnovers. Not when 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley has a career-high five steals.

But Dallas did show the kind of spunk it's going to need if it plans to continue the mini-resurgence shown by last season's home record and a 8-7 final month.

The Mavericks grabbed a lead of as many as eight in the first half, grew it to nine in the third quarter and peaked at 13 in the final minutes.

"We just got things rolling and felt confident," said Michael Finley, who ignored the pain of a bruised right heel to score 26 points, many when Dallas needed them most. "I hope we can take that throughout the rest of the season."

The Warriors are 0-1 for fifth straight season because of sloppy play on both ends. Despite outrebounding Dallas by 10, Golden State was outscored in the paint 44-26.

"We didn't keep our composure," said veteran Terry Cummings. "I don't think we stepped up with our A game."

Finley did, despite missing the last four exhibition games with an injury that made him doubtful to even play.

Finley not only extended the NBA's fourth-best streak of consecutive games to 298, he had seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. And it seemed like everything he did came at a clutch time.

When the Warriors tied it at 68 with 4:02 left in the third quarter, Finley responded with a 3-point play and a nice jumper off a slashing move through the lane on Dallas' next two possessions.

When Golden State got within 93-89, Finley answered with a jumper, then blocked Jamison's shot on the Warriors' next possession. Teammates waited for Finley to slowly walk upcourt, then set him up for a jumper that put Dallas ahead 97-89 with 4:03 left. Golden State didn't challenge again.

The bad news for the Mavericks is they won't get much chance to test their newfound home confidence. Only six of the first 19 games are at home.

Game notes
Mookie Blaylock didn't play for Golden State because of a strained left calf. ... Dallas reserve power forward Kebu Stewart did not show up for the game after attending a morning shootaround. "Right now, we don't know where he is," team spokesman Gregg Elkin said. .. Golden State opened on the road for the seventh time in nine years. ... First-round pick Leon Smith, who turned 19 Tuesday, turned down Dallas' request to play in a developmental league and will sign a three-year, $1.447 million contract Wednesday.

NBA Scoreboard

Golden State Clubhouse

Dallas Clubhouse

Washington 94
Atlanta 87

Charlotte 100
Orlando 86

Miami 128
Detroit 122

Indiana 119
New Jersey 112

New York 92
Cleveland 84

San Antonio 89
Philadelphia 76

Boston 103
Toronto 90

Dallas 108
Golden State 96

Milwaukee 98
Houston 93

Denver 107
Phoenix 102

Seattle 104
LA Clippers 92

LA Lakers 91
Utah 84

Portland 106
Vancouver 86