Nowitzki leads Mavericks to win over Warriors

Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Getting an efficient night from forward Dirk Nowitzki helped the Dallas Mavericks slip past the Golden State Warriors 103-99 Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki scored a team-high 22 on 11-of-19 shooting, as the Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 10-6. The Warriors (9-7) lost on the second night of a back-to-back for the fourth time in four tries this season.
The Mavericks had big contributions off their bench, with forward Jae Crowder (12 points) and DeJuan Blair (11) both scoring in double figures. Rookie guard Shane Larkin added seven points and six assists in his most significant stint this season.
"They played well," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of his reserves. "Of all the games we've played all year, tonight was the night we really needed the bench to step up and be big, really at both ends of the court, and they were. We've got some guys that we're developing, some younger guys. They all really stepped up tonight."
The Warriors, coming off a draining 102-101 win Tuesday at New Orleans, fell behind in the opening minutes and trailed for the rest of the night. Golden State managed to keep it within striking distance and made one last run late in the fourth before falling short.
"We had one or two possessions away from taking the lead and had a chance to get some stops and win the game," Golden State guard Stephen Curry.
Curry led the visitors with 29 points and knocked down six 3-pointers. Guard Klay Thompson struggled with his shot (5-for-16) but still managed to score 20 and grab 10 rebounds.
Golden State did carry over its momentum from the end of the second quarter into the start of the third, pulling within 59-55 on Curry's 3-pointer that preceded a Dallas timeout. The Mavericks withstood the surge and went into the final period up 82-71 on Larkin's buzzer-beating running jumper.
The Mavericks were up by as many as 17 in the fourth before one last desperate push by Golden State. Dallas aided the surge by missing 10 of 11 shots as the Warriors made it a four-point game (99-95) with 2 1/2 minutes left. But that's as close as Golden State would get.
"For the most part I'm proud of the way we fought at the end," Curry said. "It's kind of bittersweet knowing that you had that effort in the fourth quarter and didn't really show anything in the first three quarters."
Carlisle pointed to his team's six turnovers (compared to Golden State's 18) as a huge factor in the win.
"In a game like this where you have guys on the other team that can do the things skill-wise that these guys can do, you've got to take care of the ball," he said. "It was important, and down the stretch it was a wild scramble to get the last couple of stops to put it away."
The Mavericks were a step quicker than Golden State for much of the first half. Dallas took advantage of its good looks to shoot 49 percent and take a 55-46 lead into the locker room.
Dallas took its largest lead of the first half, 53-36, on guard Monta Ellis' driving layup late in the second period. Nowitzki had 12 points at the break, forward Shawn Marion added eight, and Crowder and guard Wayne Ellington combined for 12 off the bench.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 20-12 lead, with guard Jose Calderon, Nowitzki and center Samuel Dalembert combining for 18 of those points. Thanks to a pair of breakaways by Marion late in the first quarter, Dallas finished the period up 28-22.
The Warriors had an 8-0 run just before halftime to cut into the deficit. Curry and forward David Lee, who scored seven of Golden State's first nine points, each had 11 in the half.
NOTES: Mavericks G Monta Ellis came into the game shooting 49.6 percent, his best mark since the 2007-08 season, when he was with Golden State. "With more experience and being with different teams your game evolves," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. ... Warriors C Andrew Bogut returned after a one-game suspension for fighting. Backup C Jermaine O'Neal filled in nicely with 18 points and eight rebounds in a win at New Orleans. ... C Samuel Dalembert was back in the starting lineup after a one-game benching for missing a shootaround. ... Warriors coach Mark Jackson said earlier this season that G Stephen Curry and G Klay Thompson is the best-shooting backcourt in league history. Carlisle compared the duo favorably to Hall of Famers Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. "Just as far as lining it up from anywhere, I've never seen two guys like this before at the same time, on the same team," Carlisle said of the Golden State duo. "It's more than formidable."

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