The Dallas Mavericks entered Thursday's game against the Golden State Warriors entangled in a three-way tie for the No. 6 seed in the NBA's Western Conference playoff bracket. With a strong performance from their bench and 27 points from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs gained sole possession of the sixth seed. The Warriors are still trying to gain control of their top-seven protected 2012 NBA Draft pick, so they trotted out a Charles Jenkins / Klay Thompson / Dorell Wright / David Lee / Jeremy Tyler lineup for large chunks of the game, and Dallas took advantage. In the first half, Rodrigue Beaubois sliced and diced the Warriors' defense. Former Warrior Brandan Wright did more than enough to make GSW fans slap their heads and then Nowitzki closed things out as the Mavs grabbed a 112-103 win.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle called on Rodrigue Beaubois with his team up 19-18 with 2:46 remaining in the opening period, and Dallas embarked on an impressive 44-31 run to close out the half with the Frenchman on the floor. He darted, dashed and dished his way to 11 points on 5-8 shooting and four assists before halftime, and it felt as if the explosive combo guard had his hand in all the action for the Mavs during the first two quarters. Brandan Wright show up as with a nice performance as well, stuffing dunks and grabbing boards until he ended up with 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Warriors saw some encouraging flashes from young shooting guard Klay Thompson, who came surprisingly close to a triple-double in a well-rounded effort. He hit just 8-17 shots, but also earned five free throws to bump his total to 24 points. He moved the ball very well on the perimeter and ended up with a team-high eight assists, but also mixed it up a bit down low and was able to collect seven rebounds. Veteran forward David Lee still did most of the damage, as he back-loaded a 30-point game with 18 points on 7-9 shooting in the second half to keep the Warriors close enough to make the Mavs squirm a bit.
Dirk made sure the team didn't have to sweat it out too much, even though he grabbed just one rebound on the night. When the Warriors pulled within three points in the final period, he unleashed his arsenal of turnaround takeaways and just-fast-enough drives to the hoop for layups to push the lead back up.
The Mavs' bench overwhelmed the Warriors early on, and while the GSW finished with just three players in double-figures for scoring, Dallas found balance thanks to Jason Terry (16 points), Brandan Wright (16 points), Vince Carter (12 points) and Rodrigue Beaubois (11 points) to outscore Golden State's bench, 57-33.
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