Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Friday, December 30th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 25th
Game 3: Thursday, March 23rd
Game 4: Wednesday, April 12th

Warriors 122

(29-38, 11-22 away)

Mavericks 121

(53-16, 30-6 home)

Coverage: TBS

7:30 PM ET, March 23, 2006

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
GS 26 31 35 30122
DAL 28 26 31 36121

Top Performers

Golden State: J. Richardson 40 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 51 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Dirk scores 51, but Richardson, Warriors get win

DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 51 points, but this time it was Jason Richardson's turn to hit a buzzer-beater to help Golden State shock Dallas.

Richardson scored 40 points, including a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to send the Warriors past the Mavericks 122-121 on Thursday night.

The Warriors surprised the Mavericks on their previous visit to Dallas on Dec. 30, when Baron Davis' jumper with 0.5 seconds left gave Golden State a 111-109 victory.

Davis is out with a sprained ankle and Richardson picked up the slack.

Richardson had 20 points in the third quarter and went 14-for-23 from the field, 5-for-10 from 3-point range.

"Jason was unreal the second half," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "They didn't really have an answer for him."

Nowitzki's 51 points, his highest regulation total ever and two short of his career high, set in overtime on Dec. 2, 2004, against the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors (29-38) need an incredible finish to climb into playoff contention, but they seem to save their best for the Mavericks. Golden State has won four of the last eight meetings, three in a row in Dallas, after dropping 20 straight to the Mavericks.

"It's a great place to play, the crowd's really into it," Richardson said. "There's a lot of things about this arena to like playing in it."

Golden State trailed 121-119 after Jason Terry made one free throw with 4.7 seconds left.

Richardson grabbed the rebound, dribbled the length of the court and swished his 3-pointer from the top of the key. The officials checked a replay to determine whether Richardson got the shot off in time, and when referee Dick Bavetta ruled the 3-pointer good, the Warriors celebrated in front of a silenced crowd.

Richardson fell four points short of matching his career high set less than two weeks ago, but he counted Thursday night's game as the finest of his four NBA seasons.

"It was a big game, probably my best game of my career," Richardson said.

Nowitzki went 16-for-24 from the field, made 16 of 17 free throw attempts and had nine rebounds. Terry added 29 points.

But Nowitzki found little consolation in his stat line.

"The numbers don't mean anything in a loss," Nowitzki said. "Whether I score five points or 60, a loss is still a loss."

The Mavericks were perfect on their first 31 trips to the foul line, then missed three free throws in the final 30 seconds that proved costly.

"We're disappointed with the way we finished the game," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "Our defense wasn't very good tonight. We gave up 65 points in the second half. We had a lot of things go wrong defensively."

Dallas rallied from a five-point deficit early in the fourth quarter and seemed to have a safe lead at 117-112 with 28 seconds left after Nowitzki made one of two free throws.

50-plus scorers this season
Player Points Opponent Date
Kobe Bryant 81 Raptors 1/22/06
Kobe Bryant 62 Mavericks 12/20/05
Allen Iverson 53 Hawks 12/23/05
LeBron James 52 Bucks 12/10/05
Dirk Nowitzki 51 Warriors 3/23/06
LeBron James 51 Jazz 1/21/06
Kobe Bryant 51 Kings (OT) 1/19/06
Vince Carter 51 Heat 12/23/05
Paul Pierce 50 Cavs (2OT) 2/15/06
Kobe Bryant 50 Clippers 1/7/06

Mike Dunleavy's three-point play with 18 seconds left pulled Golden State within 117-115. Dallas' Darrell Armstrong hit one of two free throws with 16 seconds left to extend Dallas' lead to three.

Armstrong fouled Richardson, who converted two from the foul line to make it 118-117.

Jerry Stackhouse made two free throws for Dallas with 7.8 seconds remaining, then Derek Fisher hit two from the foul line for Golden State to make it 120-119 and set the stage for Richardson's big shot.

Dallas (53-16) wasted a chance to move past San Antonio and take the lead in the Southwest Division.

Dunleavy had 21 points and Fisher added 17 for Golden State.

Game notes

Dallas remains without Josh Howard (hamstring), Adrian Griffin (hamstring), Keith Van Horn (sprained knee) and Devin Harris (thigh). Van Horn could be back for the next game Saturday at Atlanta. ... Golden State rookie Monta Ellis missed a solo dunk attempt in the final minute of the first half. Ellis finished with 12 points. ... Dallas, which averages 13.4 3-pointers per game, took only one in the first half but finished with 15.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 122 121
FGM-FGA 43-92 (.467) 40-74 (.541)
3PM-3PA 11-24 (.458) 6-15 (.400)
FTM-FTA 25-28 (.893) 35-38 (.921)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-32 11-43
Assists 26 24
Turnovers 11 20
Steals 15 4
Blocks 1 7
Fast Break Points 18 24
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 25 (1/0)
Largest Lead 8 9

Top Performers

Golden State
Jason Richardson Richardson
Points: 40
Reb: 3
Ast: 4
Stl: 3
Blk: 1
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 51
Reb: 9
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 1