Friday , May , 04 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Bay Area shocker: Warriors oust Mavs

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – A gutsy performance from Baron Davis and sharp
shooting from Stephen Jackson helped the Warriors make NBA history, sending
Dallas and the league’s probable MVP home early from the playoffs.

Jackson scored 33 points, going 7-of-8 from three-point range, and Davis,
hobbling most of the night after straining his right hamstring in the first
quarter, added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, as Golden State
used a huge third quarter to beat the Mavericks, 111-86, clinching
their Western Conference quarterfinal series in six games.

“What we accomplished is definitely great,” Jackson said. “It’s something we
definitely enjoy, definitely happy about. We’re going to the second round
baby, we still have work to do.”

Golden State scored 18 straight points in the third, a period in which the
Warriors outscored Mavericks, 36-15.

The Warriors, who surrendered the final 15 points in losing Game 5 Tuesday,
became the first eight seed to knock off a top seed in a best-of-seven series.
Don Nelson, who was at the helm of the Mavericks from 1997-2005, saw the
Warriors move out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since
1991. Nelson was also the coach of the team then, when the Warriors beat San
Antonio in the opening round.

Dirk Nowitzki was limited to eight points on 2-of-13 shooting as the Mavericks
failed to corral the fast-paced Warriors, who were energized by a crowd of
20,677, the largest to see a basketball game in California.

“I never could really find my rhythm today,” Nowitzki said. “It’s obviously
very frustrating. I didn’t give my team anything. It’s tough.”

Golden State, in the postseason for the first time since 1994, will play
either Utah or Houston in the conference semifinals. That series is headed to
a deciding Game 7 on Saturday and the winner will host Golden State on Monday.

This marked the third time a No. 8 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. New
York beat Miami in 1999 and Denver shocked Seattle in 1994, but both of those
were best-of-five series.

The Mavericks won 67 games during the regular season, while Golden State,
didn’t get into the playoffs in the final day of the regular season. However,
there was one constant in the Warriors’ favor – their ability to frustrate the
Mavericks. Thursday’s blowout win marked the 10th victory in the last 13
meetings for Golden State over the Mavs.

Incredible as it may seem, both teams from last year’s NBA Finals are now
eliminated from the playoffs, as Miami, which beat Dallas in 2006, was swept
by Chicago.

Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse each had 20 points for Dallas, which
struggled by shooting 37.6 percent, including a 12-for-37 clip from beyond the
arc.

Fans, wearing yellow T-shirts with the words “We Believe” on them saw their
Warriors use size, speed and fabulous shooting to their advantage. The
Warriors ended the game 14-of-30 from three-point range. They outrebounded
Dallas, 53-38 and had 40 points in the paint.

Howard’s three-pointer pulled the Mavericks within 62-57 with 7 1/2 minutes
left in the third, but Jackson continued his incredible assault on Dallas’
defense, hitting a technical free throw and back-to-back threes. He had 13
straight Golden State points at one juncture, including four shots from beyond
the arc.

Dallas’ mistakes continued with turnovers and Matt Barnes drove the lane for
an emphatic left-handed jam over Nowitzki, sending the crowd into a frenzy,
with Golden State expanding to an 80-57 lead with nearly 2 1/2 minutes left in
the third.

The lead stood at 86-63 going into the fourth, and the Warriors continued to
pour it on in the fourth. Jason Richardson used his right hand for another
thunderous jam for a 96-75 lead, and then after a bad pass from Jason Terry,
Richardson drilled another three.

“It just didn’t click,” Dallas coach Avery Johnson said of his team’s
performance in the series. “We probably played a little bit over our heads.”

When the game was over confetti rained down from the rafters at ORACLE Arena.

Barnes also had a big game for Golden State with 16 points, 11 rebounds and
seven assists, while Richardson ended with 15 and Andris Biedrins ended with
12 points and 12 boards.

Jackson, acquired in a trade from Indiana in January, was ejected twice in the
series, but catapulted his team into the second round to the thankfulness of
Davis.

“He is the leader of this team,” Davis said. “I knew he was locked in. He’s a
big time performer and he really knew how important this was. He’s the only
one on our team that’s won a championship. We have to feed off of him and go
through him. He’s an amazing player, an amazing teammate and an amazing
friend.”

Golden State bolted to a 15-6 lead, but the Mavs rallied and trailed 28-25
after the opening quarter. Terry’s driving layup moved the Mavs ahead 31-29
and it stayed tight the remainder of the half with Golden State holding a
50-48 lead at the break.

Things were going so well for the Warriors that Davis, bad leg and all, hit an
off-balance three in the final minute of the half. The hard play for Davis
continued. Late in the third, on a drive to the hoop, he was fouled hard by
Austin Croshere, but bounced up and jawed with Croshere in the lane.

Game Notes

Golden State lost in five games to the Lakers in the West semifinals in 1991.
Its last trip to the conference finals was in 1976, losing to
Phoenix. That year, until Thursday, was the last time Golden State won a best-
of-seven series…Richardson was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Thursday for
improper interaction with a fan in Tuesday’s game…Terry and Devin Harris
each had 13 points for Dallas…The seven threes by Jackson were a franchise
record for the playoffs….The Mavs’ 67 wins becomes the largest total by a
team to lose in the first round.

DAL GSW