OAKLAND -- Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said Thursday that the Golden State Warriors could no longer be considered a "Cinderella" team after becoming the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 -- in this case, Johnson's Mavericks -- since the NBA moved to best-of-seven series in the opening round of the playoffs.
There was one other, more basic reason the Warriors couldn't be compared to the fairy-tale princess: Cinderella got what she most desired in the end.
You couldn't say the same for Golden State.
Four Mavericks cracked the 20-point barrier as Dallas gained a serving of nationally televised revenge at the Warriors' expense, 120-115, at Oracle Arena. Josh Howard (24 points), Jason Terry (24), Dirk Nowitzki (22) and Devin Harris (21) made moot a valiant effort by Baron Davis (37 points, five rebounds and five assists) and the rest of an overworked Golden State starting lineup.
Kelenna Azubuike recorded his first career double-double with 27 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Al Harrington had 20 points and six boards.
But the Warriors' carriage turned into a pumpkin when Davis' try at a game-tying 3-pointer came up short in the final seconds. With its first regular-season loss to Dallas since Jan. 25, 2006, Golden State is now staring at an 0-5 start.
Golden State took its first lead of the fourth quarter with a win-win possession at the 5:50 mark. Not only did Davis' two free throws put the Warriors ahead 101-100, the foul was the sixth called on Howard, ending his night after 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
But Dallas kept making shots over the Warriors' zone.
Four consecutive makes, including 3-pointers by Terry and Nowitzki, gave the Mavericks a 110-106 lead with less than four minutes to go.
The Warriors pulled within 110-109 and had a chance to take the lead with two free throws from Andris Biedrins, but for the second time in two games, he misfired on both foul shots down the stretch. Golden State forced a miss and had one more chance to go in front, but Harrington's quick 3-pointer was off.
Terry banged home a 14-footer over Harrington's outstretched hand to make the Mavericks' cushion 112-109.
After a 3-pointer from Jerry Stackhouse made it 117-113 with 37.7 seconds remaining, Davis made a 9-foot fadeaway to cut the Warriors' deficit to 117-115.