OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Thanks to Golden State's two hungry
rookies and a star who's still trying, the Dallas Mavericks
probably won't finish on top of the Western Conference.
Jason Richardson scored 25 points and the lowly Warriors shocked
the mighty Mavericks for the third time this season, winning
114-102 Wednesday night.
Rookies Ike Diogu had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Monta
Ellis had a career-high 17 points for the Warriors, who snapped
their nine-game losing streak and the Mavericks' five-game winning
streak with another improbable effort against one of the NBA's best
Richardson and Diogu scored 10 points apiece in the fourth
quarter while Golden State coolly held off Dirk Nowitzki and his
high-scoring teammates with a poise they've rarely showed this
season. Golden State, which hadn't won since beating Sacramento on
March 26, played an outstanding 32-point fourth quarter, making a
15-4 run midway through the period.
"Maybe once you beat a team that's good like that, especially
once or twice at their place, it gives you confidence that you can
play against them," said Richardson, whose effort hasn't waned
while the Warriors sink to their 12th straight losing season, even
with Baron Davis sidelined for nearly two months with an ankle
"I don't know why it is. I just know we needed a win real
The Warriors can't explain why they're the only team in the
league to beat Dallas three times. Neither can the Mavs, who faced
one furious Little General after blowing a golden opportunity to
sneak up behind San Antonio in the regular season's waning days.
"I have been waiting for 79 games to get some internal
leadership, and I haven't gotten it yet," coach Avery Johnson
said. "This is one of the most disappointing games that I've been
a part of as Mavericks coach. At the same time, it's my fault.
"We had no energy, no emotion, no concentration, just nothing.
We were disinterested in playing basketball tonight. We didn't earn
our paycheck. We need to give Mark Cuban a rebate, all of us. We
need to give him a rebate on the amount of money he is paying us.
It's not always about winning and losing, but we didn't earn it."
Troy Murphy scored 16 points for the Warriors, who played in Los
Angeles on Tuesday night. They're one of just three teams with two
victories over Dallas this season, joining the Spurs and the
"At the end of the season every year, they play like this,"
said Darrell Armstrong, who had four points for Dallas. "They play
good, but they ain't going no ... where."
Nowitzki scored 29 points -- but just 14 after the first quarter
-- and Josh Howard added 18 for Dallas (59-20), which missed its
first chance to match the franchise record with 60 victories. The
Mavericks trail San Antonio (60-18) by 1½ games in the Southwest
Division and Western Conference standings.
And the Spurs are likely to finish with the better conference
record, the tiebreaker if the clubs finish with the same overall
record. That means Dallas probably will be the No. 4 seed in the
West despite its impressive play all season, opening against the
tough Clippers or Grizzlies before a probable second-round meeting
with the Spurs.
"We're still a great team in a great position," said Jerry
Stackhouse, who scored 16 points. "We still have a lot that we
want to prove once the playoffs get here, no matter what seed we
are or who we're playing. But I'm kind of glad the Golden State
Warriors aren't one of the eight (playoff teams). We've had a tough
time against them this year."
Though Dallas lost both of its home games against Golden State
this season, the Mavs seemed ready to pull away with 24 points in
the first 7½ minutes of a strong third quarter. But they went cold
while the Warriors found their stride and took the lead late in the
Golden State surged through the fourth behind Richardson and his
rookie teammates, who combined for 14 points in the fourth. The
Warriors needed last-minute baskets to win both of their games in
Dallas this season, but their fourth-quarter run took all the
suspense out of a rare festive night in Oakland.
"For whatever reason, this matchup works for us," Golden State
coach Mike Montgomery said. "The across-the-board effort was just
something we haven't seen."
Marquis Daniels scored 12 points for Dallas, which lost for just
the second time in its last 14 trips to Oakland.
Golden State hasn't lost 10 in a row since late in the
2001-02 season. ... Dallas G Darrell Armstrong converted a
four-point play in the second quarter, getting fouled by Ellis as
he made a 3-pointer. ... Diogu had career highs in free throws made
(12) and attempted (13). ... 49ers fullback Chris Hetherington
attended the game.
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