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Nowitzki, Howard lead Mavs over Warriors

Jan 3, 2008 - 5:32 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and Josh Howard added 19 and 13 rebounds to help the Dallas Mavericks post a 121-99 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Devin Harris poured in 17 and Brandon Bass chipped in 12 and 11 boards off the bench in helping Dallas improve to 2-0 against the Warriors this season.

The triumphs offer a measure of revenge for the Mavericks, who were ousted by the eighth-seeded Warriors in last season's playoffs in one of the most shocking upsets in NBA history.

"They ended the great season we had last year," Nowitzki said. "Nothing we do now could take that back."

Dallas created an 80-69 edge with 4:31 remaining on two free throws by Nowitzki. But Golden State used an impressive 26-9 run to close out the period to draw within 89-85 after three quarters.

However, the Mavericks regained order with an 11-0 burst to open the fourth to extend their lead to 100-85 on Howard's 3-pointer at the 9:37 mark.

"We were really sharp defensively," Nowitzki said. "We rebounded the ball and did a good job defensively and we did a solid job overall. We really competed; the energy was great, so it just was a good ballgame defensively."

"We fought the good fight for a while," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "I liked what we did in the third quarter, we moved the ball. But we just weren't fresh enough. Our players wore down, I thought, in the fourth quarter and just didn't have much."

Stephen Jackson had 25 points and two steals and Al Harrington added 21 points for the Warriors, who were outscored, 32-14, in the decisive period.

"We got it close and then we made some turnovers and didn't hit some shots," Jackson said. "We were turning the ball over and they were capitalizing on all our turnovers, and they were able to get the lead back up and once you get the lead like that in the fourth quarter with a great team like Dallas, at their place, it's going to be hard to come back."

A catalyst for Golden State in last season's upset of Dallas, Baron Davis netted just 10 points on 2-of-14 shooting for the Warriors.

"It's the NBA, what can I tell you," Nelson sad. "This is our third game on the road, it's after New Year's and we laid an egg. We didn't play well and they did, and they had three days off. You go figure the rest out. I don't really know all the answers, but I know we got our (butt) beat and it probably won't be the last time."