Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 10/29

Game 1: Wednesday, October 29th
Mavericks95Final
Warriors87
Game 2: Wednesday, January 7th
Warriors99Final
Mavericks105
Game 3: Tuesday, February 3rd
Warriors93Final
Mavericks107
Game 4: Sunday, April 11th
Mavericks107Final
Warriors108

Warriors 99

(14-20, 4-14 away)

Mavericks 105

 

    Coverage: FSSW

    8:00 PM ET, January 7, 2004

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 24 30 24 2199
    DAL 23 34 26 22105

    Top Performers

    Golden State: J. Richardson 27 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 23 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Big Three spoil Nick's night

    DALLAS (AP) -- Nick Van Exel was back on the court he never wanted to leave, soaking up cheers from fans who miss his gritty leadership. When the game was on the line in the final minute, he was the one cutting through the lane, flicking in a pair of layups.

    But Van Exel always was overshadowed by the Big Three on the Dallas Mavericks, and on Wednesday night they did it again.

    Dirk Nowitzki scored eight of his 23 points in the final 3:56, Michael Finley had 21 points and Steve Nash offset back pain and a bad shooting night with two free throws in the closing seconds to send the Mavs past the Golden State Warriors 105-99.

    Antoine Walker added 20 points, and Antawn Jamison and Danny Fortson -- the players Dallas received for Van Exel -- contributed, too, as the Mavs beat the Warriors for the 19th straight time.

    Van Exel had 15 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Jason Richardson scored 27, but Golden State still lost its seventh straight overall and eighth straight on the road, lows it hadn't hit in two seasons.

    "We needed a win so bad that I wasn't even thinking about coming back to Dallas," Van Exel said. "Once again, we found a way to lose the game at the end. If we can just find a way to pull these types of games out, it would sure help."

    Van Exel remade his image during his stint in Dallas, going from cranky misfit to beloved big-game star, a reputation sealed when he led the Mavs in scoring five times in the playoff last season against Sacramento and San Antonio.

    Although he said the Mavs would be wise to trade him for a big man, he left angry with team owner Mark Cuban for not calling to say goodbye after he and Avery Johnson were dealt in August.

    Van Exel remains on great terms with his former coaches, teammates and the fans, who gave him a nice pregame ovation.

    "I really appreciated that," said Van Exel, who responded by clapping and waving.

    He failed to score in the first quarter, then got rolling once Tony Delk replaced Nash. Van Exel hit a 3-pointer, a running jumper then another shot from way beyond the arc, all in a short span.

    When he nailed a wide-open 3 early in third quarter, it was the 1,361st of his career, passing Dan Majerle for fifth on the career list.

    He had only one more basket until dribbling through traffic for a layup with 36 seconds, then another with 7.3 ticks remaining that got the Warriors within 101-99.

    "I don't think he wanted to get revenge for being traded," Richardson said. "He just wanted to win the game, and we wanted to help win that game for him."

    Nash, who went 1-for-9 two days after injuring his back in a lopsided loss at Utah, was fouled on the inbounds pass and hit both shots.

    He finished with seven points and 12 assists in 41 minutes, which was a lot considering coach Don Nelson wondered before tipoff how effective Nash could be because of his injury.

    "What a gutsy game," Nelson said. "We certainly wouldn't have won without him."

    In bouncing back from the wipeout against the Jazz, Dallas improved to 16-2 at home. Because of their road woes, the Mavs have won only two of four and are 10-10 since a 31-point loss at Phoenix on Nov. 26.

    Golden State was coming off a season-low 65 points against Houston. The Warriors had 54 at halftime and were up 88-87 midway through the fourth.

    Brian Cardinal, who scored 18, tied it at 93, then Nowitzki hit a layup that put Dallas ahead for good. He stretched the lead with two free throws and a jumper.

    Jamison had 14 points and seven rebounds. Fortson had 11 rebounds in 16 minutes.

    Erick Dampier had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors. Mike Dunleavy added 13 points and seven rebounds. Clifford Robinson was 1-of-9, but played 41 minutes, in part because Troy Murphy sat out with an inflamed right ankle.

    Game notes


    Dunleavy banked in a shot as the first quarter ended and officials ruled it good, but then overturned it on replay. ... Nelson said Avery Johnson has a standing invitation to join his staff. "I don't think I'd be the only team," Nelson said. ... With Fortson pulling back his hair into a John Belushi-esque samurai look, a smashing gong sound was played when he scored his first basket. It drew so many laughs and cheers that it was used again when he re-entered the game. ... The in-house theme was Fiesta Night because this game was the first to be broadcast by ESPN Deportes, a new sports network in Spanish.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    GS
    DAL
    Points 99 105
    FGM-FGA 40-89 (.449) 41-88 (.466)
    3PM-3PA 11-23 (.478) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 8-12 (.667) 17-20 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-45 12-46
    Assists 27 26
    Turnovers 15 14
    Steals 8 8
    Blocks 5 4
    Fast Break Points 6 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 13 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Dallas
    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 27
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 23
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1