Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Monday, November 4th
Game 2: Saturday, December 7th
Game 3: Friday, March 14th
Game 4: Saturday, April 12th

Warriors 108

(38-42, 14-27 away)

Mavericks 117


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 12, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 26 32 22 28108
    DAL 33 29 27 28117

    Top Performers

    GS: A. Jamison 25 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 37 Pts, 12 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Nowitzki's 37 points helps Mavs end three-game skid

    DALLAS (AP) -- For months, it's been a given that the Dallas Mavericks would break the team record for victories. The question was by how much.

    The answer: At least one and no more than three.

    Dirk Nowitzki had 37 points and 12 rebounds and Steve Nash added 21 points and 10 assists as the Mavericks beat Golden State 117-108 Saturday night to finally get their team-record 58th victory.

    ''Sure, it's an accomplishment, but it's kind of anticlimactic,'' Nash said. ''It's a little disappointing the way we're playing.''

    Dallas is 7-6 since losing second-leading scorer Michael Finley to a knee injury. The Mavs had dropped three in a row and four of five, costing them their season-long grip on the NBA's best record.

    ''Our energy hasn't been there and we've been struggling, so this is a big win for us,'' Nowitzki said. ''We haven't played well in a month. We haven't competed at a high level, and that's what the playoffs are all about.''

    Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State, which lost its fifth in seven games. This one clinched a ninth consecutive losing season. It also was the Warriors' 17th consecutive defeat against Dallas.

    ''We played these guys well all year,'' Jamison said. ''It's just the little things here and there that beat us.''

    While the Mavs still have a chance to reach 60 victories, they'll need help to win the Midwest Division.

    San Antonio must lose Sunday at Phoenix and Monday at Utah, and Dallas must beat Seattle at home Monday night for the division to come down to a Mavs-Spurs showdown in the season finale.

    Any San Antonio victory or Dallas defeat would lock the Mavericks into the third seed. That would mean opening the postseason against the sixth seed, which is a tight battle between Minnesota, Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers.

    ''We're trying to get some rhythm going into the playoffs,'' forward Eduardo Najera said. ''We've got to stay positive, be sharp and focused.''

    Finley was eligible to come off the injured list Saturday, but didn't. Coach Don Nelson said he might be ready Monday.

    Without Finley, Nelson avoided a season-worst fourth consecutive defeat by playing Nash for 36 minutes and Nowitzki 40. Nowitzki played the entire fourth quarter and paid the price -- Gilbert Arenas was called for a flagrant foul with 3:52 left for smacking Nowitzki hard enough to leave a scab on the bridge of his nose.

    ''He was trying to go for the ball and missed,'' Nowitzki said. ''He hit me in the face, but it's not bad.''

    Jamison had 20 of his points in the first half as the Warriors kept things close. They tied it at 62 early in the third quarter, then Nash and Nowitzki scored all of Dallas' points in a 12-2 run that broke the game open.

    The Mavericks' lead peaked at 16, 113-97, but the Warriors scored nine in a row in the closing minutes to close to seven. Then Nash hit a pair of free throws with 43.5 seconds left to seal the victory -- and the record.

    ''In 25 years, I've never had a team that has done better with the talent we have,'' Nelson said. ''I am so proud of them.''

    Nick Van Exel had 17 points and seven assists for the Mavs. Raef LaFrentz had 12 points and Shawn Bradley had 10; the 7-foot centers started together for just the fifth time.

    Dallas was 32-for-34 on foul shots, with Nowitzki making 14 of 15. He was 10-for-22 from the field and was three points short of tying his career high.

    For the Warriors, rookie Mike Dunleavy -- playing with his father, former NBA coach Mike Dunleavey, in the stands -- tied his season high with 17 points. Jason Richardson also had 17. Arenas had five points and eight assists, and missed the third quarter with a bruised knee.

    Jamison was only 2-for-8 in the second half.

    ''I had the same looks, but they just didn't go in,'' Jamison said. ''It wasn't anything Dallas did to me. A couple calls didn't go our way and there were a couple of stretches when we couldn't throw it in the ocean.''

    Game notes

    Both teams scored at least 100 points in all four meetings this season, which only makes sense considering they're the league's two highest-scoring teams. Dallas came in averaging 102.8; Golden State 102.1. ... When Golden State's 5-foot-5 Earl Boykins got his fourth block of the season when he rejected a first-quarter shot by Najera. ... Walt Williams returned from the injured list for Dallas, while Evan Eschmeyer went on it.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 108 117
    FGM-FGA 44-100 (.440) 39-88 (.443)
    3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 7-19 (.368)
    FTM-FTA 16-23 (.696) 32-34 (.941)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-53 9-48
    Assists 25 28
    Turnovers 13 12
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 10 4
    Fast Break Points 8 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/1) 17 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Antawn Jamison Jamison
    Points: 25
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 37
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0