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

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

"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.

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

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.

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