Warriors rout Mavericks, stay in playoff raceApr 18, 2007 - 7:25 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Golden State Warriors are alive and well - but not yet in the playoffs.
Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points and Matt Barnes added 19 and 12 rebounds to lead seven players in double figures as the Warriors stayed in the playoff hunt with a 111-82 rout of the Dallas Mavericks' reserves.
Jason Richardson collected 14 points and seven rebounds for Golden State (41-40), which remained one game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers (40-41) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"Like I said before, we have to win all our games and nothing has changed," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We are doing no celebrating. We have one more game and I think it's going to be our toughest game of the year. It's just a feeling that I have that it's going to be a tough game. We will prepare tonight and hopefully the force will be with us. I want us to be mentally prepared."
The race will come down to the season's final night as the Warriors play at Portland on Wednesday while the Clippers host New Orleans.
"I think we'll approach (Wednesday's) game just like we've been approaching every game for the last month or so," Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson said. "One game at a time. We never expected to win tonight and to just automatically be in the playoffs."
"We don't have any time to think about win or go home," Baron Davis said. "We have to think about Portland. And we have to give them their respect, just like we gave Dallas their respect tonight."
Despite its lead, Golden State will need to win because Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker due to a better division record.
"It's win or go home," Davis said. "Who would have thought we'd be in this position at the beginning of the year? But we are on a mission and the mission is not over. If we win (Wednesday), then that's when the mission starts. We have a lot of talent on this team and a lot of unselfish players, and the most important thing is (Wednesday) night."
The Warriors took advantage of the Mavericks, who started reserves Jose Juan Barea, Maurice Ager, Greg Buckner, DeSagana Diop and Devean George with the league's top record and home-court advantage already locked up.
Stars Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse did not even dress. As a result, Golden State jumped out to an early lead, outscoring Dallas, 30-15, in the first quarter and never looked back. The Warriors led by as many as 28 points in the third period.
Pietrus shot 6-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-4 from the arc, and Barnes was 7-of-15 from the floor for the Warriors, who finished 30-11 at home this season - their best mark at Oracle Arena since 1991-92.
Golden State forward Al Harrington isn't worried about any of the squad's past accomplishments.
"We are enjoying this right now, but once we get on that plane, it's a business trip," Harrington said. "So everybody needs to get their rest, and let's come out there and handle our business. We know what we have to do, we are in the driver's seat."
Ager scored 20 points and Barea added 13 and a career-high 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who will face either the Warriors or Clippers in a first-round playoff series.
"I think it'd be an exciting series (against the Warriors)," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "We haven't played our best against them, and right now they probably should be the favorite going into that series, the way they beat us, right?"
GOLDEN STATE 111 FINAL
Apr 18 1:05 AM
GOLDEN STATE 83 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 18 12:33 AM
GOLDEN STATE 55 HALFTIME
Apr 17 11:43 PM
GOLDEN STATE 30 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 17 11:10 PM
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