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Richardson, Warriors dominate Dallas in Game 3 victory

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Jackson swore he felt the arena
shake at times, the sellout crowd swelling to its yellow seams with
every basket, blocked shot and improbable turn in the Golden State
Warriors' victory.

Every minute of this game seemed worth a 13-year wait for the
Warriors' faithful fans who loved their club long before it even
dreamed of being halfway to knocking the Dallas Mavericks out of
the playoffs.

Jason Richardson had 30 points and eight rebounds, Baron Davis
added 24 points and the Warriors steamrolled NBA-leading Dallas for
the second time in three games, winning 109-91 Friday night to take
a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

"The place was jumpin'," said Jackson, who had 16 points.
"That's a great night."

The Bay Area's first NBA playoff game since May 4, 1994, was a
rollicking success for the eighth-seeded Warriors, who endured 12
straight losing seasons before coach Don Nelson got them back to
the playoffs this spring.

And after dominating both ends of the court in another
improbably comfortable win over the mighty Mavericks, the Warriors
are halfway to what probably would be the biggest first-round upset
in NBA playoff history -- if Golden State can recapture this
marvelous formula two more times.

"We just love playing them," Richardson said. "We get up for
them. They're the best team in the NBA. We pretty much know these
guys. ... I think they just had a bad game tonight. We can't be
overconfident about this game. We've still got another couple of
games to try to win."

Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday night in Oakland,
with Game 5 back in Dallas on Tuesday.

The biggest crowd in Warriors history -- 20,629 fans wearing
yellow T-shirts packed into the rafters of Oracle Arena -- rarely
sat down during Oakland's biggest party in years. The fans
gleefully chanted "Overrated!" at the flustered Mavs and Dirk
Nowitzki, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds in another poor
performance.

Monta Ellis scored 14 points for the Warriors, who extended
their uncanny Mavs mastery with their seventh win in the clubs'
last eight meetings overall, including a three-game regular-season
sweep.

"I think we caught them off-guard tonight," Davis said. "We
just played with an unbelievable confidence, a tenacity on defense.
... Our style of play is hard to guard, because you've got five
guys that can penetrate and make plays."

The Warriors led throughout the final 44 minutes, taking an
18-point lead in the first half and going up by 22 in the third
quarter before coasting home. Richardson was largely unstoppable,
mixing drives with four 3-pointers in the six-year veteran's first
playoff showcase at home.

"I knew it was coming," Davis said of Richardson's brilliance.
"What better time for him to break out than in his first home
game?"

So what's wrong with the Mavs? Not even coach Avery Johnson
seems to know. After posting the sixth-best regular season in NBA
history, the Mavericks have looked inexplicably ordinary against
the Warriors' speed and skill.

"We tried anything to get it going here, and we just didn't
have it," Nowitzki said. "We know the pressure is going to be on
us. We won 67 games, and we said all along our goal is a
championship. Anything else would be a disappointment. The pressure
is on a lot of shoulders."

Nowitzki battled constant foul trouble in Game 3, and Golden
State's hustling defense somehow turned the probable league MVP
into a bumbler or a bystander on most Dallas possessions. His
teammates were little help outside of Josh Howard's 20 points, with
Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse both enduring poor shooting
nights.

"We just didn't do a lot of the detail things that we've been
doing all year," Johnson said. "We just didn't keep our cool.
We're normally a team that keeps our cool. We look like they did in
Game 2, which I'm really disappointed with more than anything, how
we lost our composure."

The Warriors shocked Dallas 97-85 in Game 1 with their uptempo
offense and fearless play, but fell apart in the second half of an
otherwise competitive Game 2. Davis and Jackson were ejected, and
Jackson was hit with a $50,000 fine from the league Friday for his
behavior.

But Golden State regained its momentum and maturity back home.
The Warriors controlled the tempo and the Mavericks missed open
shots while Golden State took a 61-48 halftime lead.

Davis was brilliant in scoring Golden State's final basket --
rolling off Biedrins' pick and herding Nowitzki into the paint
before banging home a layup and drawing Nowitzki's third foul with
3 seconds to go.

The Mavs' frustration bubbled over in the third quarter, with
Howard, Stackhouse and Devin Harris all picking up technical
fouls.

Game notes
Nelson tweaked his starting lineup, inserting Andris
Biedrins in place of Al Harrington. ... Actors Kate Hudson and Owen
Wilson attended the game. Hudson and Davis, an aspiring movie
producer, were high school classmates in Santa Monica, while Wilson
is from the Dallas area.