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Mavs beat Warriors but lose Nowitzki

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Eduardo Najera ended up with the ball as
the shot clock was expiring and made the right decision.

Najera hit a short jumper with three seconds remaining as the
Dallas Mavericks prevailed in a frantic fourth quarter to beat the
Golden State Warriors 116-114 Friday night.

"What we were running broke down and I just happened to be
there,'' said Najera. "I knew time was running down and I just
took a chance.''

The third-year pro started for just the sixth time this season as the Mavericks were playing the second night of a back-to-back set.

"I think he had muscle memory on that jump shot,'' said Dallas coach Don Nelson. "When he was in college (Oklahoma) that shot was golden for him.''

Michael Finley scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half as
the Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak by beating Golden
State for the 16th consecutive time. Steve Nash added 17 points and
12 assists.

"Finley carried us down the stretch,'' Najera said. "He hit
some tough shots.''

Shawn Bradley fouled out with three minutes to play after
scoring 16 points with 11 rebounds. The Mavericks have won 28
straight over the last three seasons when he records a
double-double.

Gilbert Arenas scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half but
missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Antawn Jamison added 20
points for the Warriors, whose five-game home winning streak was
snapped.

The Warriors dropped 3½ games behind Houston and Phoenix, who
are currently tied for the eighth playoff spot in the Western
Conference.

"It was a fun game,'' said Warriors forward Troy Murphy, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds. "There were no crazy schemes. It was like playing on a playground.''

Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting,
left the game late in the first half with a sprained left ankle. He
came down on Jason Richardson's right foot after a missed 3-pointer
and had to be helped off the court.

Nowitzki averaged 29.4 points in two earlier wins over the
Warriors.

"Minus Nowitzki I thought a lot of guys stepped up and did a great job,'' said Nelson. "It's not a major injury but I don't know when he'll be able to play again.''

Dallas visits the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Earl Boykins ignited a Warriors rally in the opening minutes of
the fourth quarter, scoring five points to help Golden State tie
the score at 91-all with 10:41 remaining to play. The Warriors
eventually opened a 99-95 edge as Arenas scored two quick baskets.

Nash sparked the Mavericks to open the second half, scoring 12
points as they went on a 25-12 run to take a 78-71 lead at 4:42 of
the third quarter.

"They made a lot of tough shots to beat us,'' said Golden
State's Michael Dunleavy, who added 13 points. "We wanted to take
the ball away from Nash at the end but Najera made the shot.''

Golden State got within 78-77 on a pair of baskets by Arenas,
but the Mavericks extended their lead to 89-84 entering the final
quarter.

Both teams established a high-paced, aggressive style early,
fitting for the top two scoring teams in the NBA. Golden State led
by as many as 10 points in the second quarter but settled for a
59-53 advantage at halftime.

Game notes
Nash bought 25 extra tickets to accommodate his friends
from nearby Santa Clara University, where he attended school. ...
Warriors F Chris Mills, who last played against Detroit on March 9,
will miss at least the next two games because of a left Achilles
tendon injury. ... The Mavericks used their 13th different lineup,
while the Warriors have used the same starting lineup through the
first 65 games. ... The Warriors drew 19,787 fans, the
second-largest crowd of the season and the third sellout. ... The
Mavericks have not lost more than three games in a row this season.
... The Warriors last beat the Mavericks, 91-90, on April 10, 1999
in Dallas.

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