DALLAS (AP)—More important than staying undefeated, the Dallas Mavericks found out they can win under adverse conditions.
After falling behind by 17 points to winless Golden State in the first half and being forced into overtime by an incredible 3-pointer, the Mavericks led throughout the extra session and won 101-98 Monday night.
“We’ll take it. But we know we didn’t play a complete game, and it almost cost us,” Michael Finley said. “We were playing their record instead of their team.”
Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points, including the opening basket in overtime that put Dallas ahead to stay. Finley had 17 points, but missed 17 of his 22 shots.
The Mavericks are 4-0 for only the third time, and they still haven’t allowed 100 points in a game. But this one was ugly.
“We were certainly tested, but we responded,” coach Don Nelson said.
Jason Richardson forced overtime with a 3-pointer from the corner despite being double-teamed with 12 seconds left in regulation. He had a chance to force another overtime, but his 3-pointer from the top of the key hit the front rim as time expired.
Golden State gave up a 57-43 halftime lead with a miserable third quarter. The Warriors went 3-of-23—with one field goal coming on a goaltending call— and managed only 10 points.
It was the Warriors’ 12th straight loss in Dallas since April 1999, and their 21st in 22 games overall against the Mavericks.
“We got a little tired and as a result Dallas picked up their pressure,” Warriors first-year coach Mike Montgomery said. “If we kept the pressure on them, it changes everything, but we couldn’t do it.”
Marquis Daniels made two free throws with 49 seconds left in the third to put the Mavs ahead 68-67—their first lead since the game’s opening minutes.
After a back-and-forth fourth, Nowitzki hit an 18-foot fadeaway jumper on the first possession of overtime, and Jason Terry’s basket pushed Dallas ahead 92-88.
Josh Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Dallas. Nowitzki also had 10 rebounds.
Richardson led the Warriors with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Derek Fisher had 23 points—just six after halftime and none in overtime.
“Coming close is no consolation,” Richardson said. “It could be ugly, it could be pretty, we don’t care. We’re searching for a victory.”
Erick Dampier, traded from Golden State to Dallas during the summer, made a short hook shot with 1:05 left in regulation to put the Mavericks ahead 86-85. Dampier finished with six points and five rebounds in 29 minutes, two days after a 13-point, 18-rebound game against Memphis.
After Finley hit two free throws with 16 seconds, Richardson tied it at 88-all from the left corner—over Finley and Daniels.
Nowitzki’s 20-foot shot hit the rim as time expired.
The Warriors went on a 20-2 run in the first quarter, including three straight baskets from Fisher, the third a 23-foot jumper for Golden State’s first lead.
By the time Fisher hit another long jumper to cap the spurt, Golden State led 22-9 and stayed in front until Daniels’ free throws to end the third.
It was the first of four road games in six days for Golden State. Dallas starts the same stretch Tuesday at Orlando. … A night after a season-high 18 points and nine assists, Warriors G Speedy Claxton sat out with a bruised right thigh. … Eduardo Najera, the Dallas fan favorite sent to Golden State in the Dampier deal, missed his only shot but had five rebounds in his 10 minutes. … The Mavs gave away Rolando Blackman bobblehead dolls. When the team’s career scoring leader, and now TV broadcaster, came on the court during a timeout in the second quarter, a fan yelled “Put on a jersey.” Dallas trailed by 15 at the time.