OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki was stretched face-down on
a training table, both ankles wrapped with plastic and ice. He
rolled over and sat up gingerly, muttering a German exclamation
under his breath as he tiptoed to the shower.
The Dallas Mavericks are weary and aching, but that hasn't kept
them from an excellent start to a tough road trip.
Devin Harris scored 15 points for the Mavericks, who beat Golden
State for the 22nd time in their last 24 meetings.
After playing what Nowitzki called "terrible" defense in the
second half, Dallas needed a 12-2 surge midway through the fourth
quarter to avoid an embarrassing loss after impressive road wins at
Sacramento and Seattle on the first two stops of this five-game
"Offensively, we pretty much did whatever we wanted all night
long," Nowitzki said. "But defensively, we had major letdowns.
... We made it a lot harder on ourselves than it should have been.
For some reason, we just can't finish teams off. We let teams hang
The Mavericks played without third-leading scorer Jerry
Stackhouse, who has a strained groin muscle, and starting center
Erick Dampier missed most of the second half with a foot injury.
But Finley played 44 minutes and Nowitzki went 15-for-18 on free
throws, and the Mavericks' stars kept them ahead down the stretch.
"We have a tired team," coach Don Nelson said. "They have not
been able to play in the second half (the way) we want. ... We ride
Dirk. We ride him all the time, whether he's on a roll or not."
Jason Richardson had 26 points and seven assists for Golden
State, but its 11th loss in 13 games followed a familiar script.
Just as they did Sunday night against Phoenix, the Warriors rallied
from an early 17-point deficit, took a late lead -- and couldn't
hold it because of bad defense and turnovers.
"I didn't think we had the defensive intensity to start the
game," coach Mike Montgomery said. "We were able to come back and
grab the lead, but couldn't finish it out. The guys didn't quit out
there, and I wish they could play like that for 48 minutes."
Dallas went up 108-98 with 4:03 left on a hook shot by Josh
Howard, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Golden State scored the
next seven points to get the home crowd on its feet, but Nowitzki
hit two free throws and added a clinching jumper with 18 seconds
Dampier had six points and five rebounds in his first appearance
in Oakland since the Warriors traded him to Dallas last summer.
Fittingly for a center who spent the previous seven seasons
fighting injuries, Dampier was sidelined by a foot injury -- and
Nelson said the center probably will miss Thursday's game at
"I wanted to have a good performance, but all the guys played
hard," Dampier said. "We'll just have to see how it feels
tomorrow. If I can't go again, I'll just rest it (during the
Stackhouse, Dallas' third-leading scorer with 15.8 points a
game, was hurt Feb. 6 in a game against Toronto, forcing him to
miss three of the Mavs' last four games.
Nowitzki scored 12 points in the first quarter, and Dallas
gradually built a 14-point halftime lead. But Golden State opened
the third quarter with a 29-12 spurt in less than nine minutes,
taking an 82-79 lead on Richardson's 3-pointer.
"We're a better team than our record is showing," Richardson
said. "You play for your pride. That's what these guys are doing
The Warriors' young lineup got even younger in the previous 24
hours with the departure of veteran forward Cliff Robinson, traded
to New Jersey for two draft picks, and the activation of
18-year-old rookie Andris Biedrins, the NBA's youngest player.
Biedrins didn't play.
X-rays on Dampier's foot were negative. ... The Warriors
wore their burnt-orange third uniforms, and Dallas wore its home
whites. ... Dampier blocked 728 shots for the Warriors, ranking
third in franchise history behind Joe Barry Carroll and Adonal
Foyle. ... In December, Golden State snapped a 12-game losing
streak with a 111-107 win at Dallas.