Third-string center Ian Mahinmi had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and fourth-stringer Alexis Ajinca provided quality minutes to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 105-100 Tuesday night for their 10th straight victory.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points, Jason Terry had 20 and Caron Butler 19 — but that's expected. The surprise was the performance by the backup big men, both from France. They were forced into duty because starter Tyson Chandler was home with a stomach ailment and fill-in starter Brendan Haywood got in early foul trouble.
The Warriors lost their fourth straight and ninth in 10 games, but didn't go down easily. They hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final half-minute to keep inching closer, forcing Dallas to seal it with free throws.
Stephen Curry scored 21 points, David Lee had 20, Monta Ellis 18 and Dorrell Wright 17 for Golden State.
Mahinmi came in midway through the first quarter when Haywood picked up his second foul. Then he got a pair of fouls and in came Ajinca, who had played only three minutes all season.
Ajinca grabbed a career-high six rebounds — three on each end — blocked two shots and had a steal, all in just nine minutes. He also scored three points, making a 15-foot baseline jumper and a free throw. He took four shots and each brought the guys on the bench to their feet, ready to celebrate.
Haywood replaced him and he started the second half. But once Mahinmi got back in, coach Rick Carlisle stuck with him. He played the entire fourth quarter, making plays on both ends of the court.
He was so aggressive on offense that he took 10 free throws, making eight. Seven of his rebounds came on the offensive end. He also had two steals and a block.
The Warriors made 10 of 20 3-point attempts, but were only 6 of 13 on free throws.
NOTES: This is the ninth time in franchise history the Mavericks have won at least 10 straight. They had a 13-game streak last season. ... Golden State leads the league in steals, but Dallas had more, 12-10. ... At the end of the third quarter, Nowitzki started to shoot a 3, waited for a defender to fly past, then started to shoot it again, only to wait for another defender to fly past. He finally put it up just before time expired — but missed.