The Mavericks continue their pursuit of the top spot in the West as they try to avoid another surprising loss to the Warriors.
Dallas trails San Antonio by one game in the race for the best record in the West, the same margin it finished behind the eventual NBA champions last season.
One of the reasons the Mavericks trail the Spurs this season is their play against Golden State, owner of the conference’s second-worst record. The Warriors are the only visiting team to post two victories at Dallas this season, winning on late baskets on both occasions.
However, Dallas has won 12 of its last 13 visits to Oakland, including a 102-93 victory on Jan. 25.
The Mavericks opened a three-game road trip with a 75-73 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Dirk Nowitzki shook off a poor second half to hit the go-ahead jumper with 0.7 seconds left as Dallas overcame its lowest point total of the season.
“When it comes down to the last shot, you don’t think about what happened before,” said Nowitzki, who was held to 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting. “I had a good look—it felt good leaving my hand. You have the ball in the last seconds, you just want to help your team win, that’s it.”
Mavericks coach Avery Johnson was pleased with his team’s defense, which limited Clippers star Elton Brand to 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
“We feel fortunate to get out of here with a victory,” Johnson said. “Both teams played awesome defense. I don’t know if we win this game in the past. Now, we’re a different team.”
Dallas has won five straight and can clinch the franchise’s second 60-win season Tuesday. The Mavs won 60 games in 2002-03 when they reached the conference finals and lost to San Antonio.
Golden State is trying to avoid losing 10 straight for the first time since March 9-24, 2002. The Warriors are on a nine-game skid following a 111-100 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
Richardson returned after missing one game with soreness in his right knee and scored 20 points.
Davis has missed the last 15 games with a sprained ankle.