Mavericks beat Golden State 104-94 in home finale
DALLAS – Vince Carter had 19 points, including eight straight for Dallas early in the fourth quarter, and the playoff-bound Mavericks finally pulled away from the young Golden State Warriors for a 104-94 victory Friday night.
Carter's personal streak ended when he had an assist on Jason Terry's breakaway 3-pointer that stretched the Dallas lead to 87-75 with 9 minutes left.
It was the last regular season home game for the defending NBA champions, who clinched a playoff spot Thursday night without even playing. The Mavericks were guaranteed their 12th straight playoff appearance after Houston's sixth consecutive loss, in New Orleans a night after the Rockets lost in Dallas.
Brandan Wright had 17 points for Dallas, which finished 23-10 at home, while Dirk Nowitzki and Delonte West each had 16 and Shawn Marion 14.
Klay Thompson, one of four rookie starters for Golden State, led the Warriors with 26 points. Brandon Rush had 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
Dallas, sixth in the Western Conference standings, finishes the regular season with games Saturday at Chicago and Thursday at Atlanta.
While the Warriors hung in for a while, Dallas never trailed again after scoring seven straight points midway through the third quarter.
Two free throws by Carter tied the game at 58 before West had a three-point play, driving and reaching around a defender for a bank shot high off the glass while being fouled and then making the free throw.
The third quarter ended with a scrambling possession by the Mavs that finished with West making a 3-pointer from the right corner at the buzzer for a 76-70 lead.
The Warriors, playing the first of three straight road days, were without five injured players.
Center Andris Biendrins didn't even make the trip, missing his third straight game because of a mild concussion, and guard Nate Robinson missed his second game in a row with a strained right hamstring. Also out were center Andrew Bogut (broken left ankle), guard Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and post player David Lee (strained groin).
"Being short-handed makes it very interesting and challenging for players and coaches," coach Mark Jackson said before the game.
Dorrell Wright, the only veteran starter for Golden State, had 19 points. Jeremy Tyler had 15 points and Charles Jenkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Dallas had a 40-29 lead midway through the second quarter after Wright scored 11 points in a 4½-minute span. Nowitzki had the only other Mavs basket in that stretch.
Wright, the 6-foot-10 forward, is getting many of the minutes that were going to Lamar Odom before he played his last game with the Mavericks two weeks ago.
When Jason Terry missed a 3-pointer, Wright grabbed the rebound among three defenders and went right back up for the first basket of the second quarter. Terry then had a steal and passed ahead to Wright for a powerful two-handed dunk.
Wright had another putback of a missed 3-pointer before Terry made a nifty behind-the-back bounce pass to Nowitzki for a long jumper. Less than 2 minutes after that, Nowitzki penetrated and passed off to Wright for a slam instead of taking a shot himself.
After Wright made his sixth consecutive shot with a short jumper over Thompson in the final minute, Rush made a short pull-up jumper to get the Warriors within 50-49 at halftime.
Notes: It was the ninth consecutive game Dallas had at least five players score in double figures. ... Carter became the eighth player in NBA history with 1,500 3-pointers when he made one in the closing minutes.