The Golden State Warriors took advantage of a short-handed Dallas Mavericks squad to record a 52nd consecutive home-court victory, riding another record-setting 3-point-shooting performance to a hard-earned 128-120 win.
On a night when the Warriors presented Mavericks power forward David Lee his championship ring, Golden State set an NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season by connecting on 21 in 45 attempts.
The 17th of the 21 came with 9:51 to go in the game and was Golden State’s 934th of the season, allowing them to surpass the previous record set by the Houston Rockets last season.
Klay Thompson bombed in nine 3-pointers on a 40-point night and backcourt sidekick Stephen Curry nailed five 3’s to account for almost half his 33 points, helping Golden State (65-7) remain four games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs (61-11) for top seeding in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Warriors already have clinched the home-court advantage in the NBA Finals should they get that far for a second consecutive year.
Lee, who helped the Warriors win their first championship since 1975 last season before getting dealt to the Boston Celtics over the summer, had 12 points, nine rebounds and a team-high six assists in his first return as an opponent this season.
Lee played 24 minutes in large part because Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle chose to rest veteran stars Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams with a winnable back-to-back upcoming Sunday and Monday in Sacramento and Denver.
The loss dropped the Mavericks (35-37) behind the Houston Rockets (36-37), who won Friday night, and into a tie with the Utah Jazz (35-37) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
The Mavericks trailed by as many as 18 points before rallying within 102-94 by scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter.
Thompson’s record-setting 3-pointer made it a double-figure margin again, but Mavericks reserve Charlie Villanueva countered with three 3’s, the third of which narrowed the Dallas deficit to 116-113 with still 3:18 to play.
But Harrison Barnes hit a turnaround jumper, Curry dropped in a layup and the Warriors held on from there to beat Dallas for the 10th time in their last 11 meetings and clinch a fourth straight season-season win.
The nine 3’s by Thompson pushed his season total to 246, which bested his previous career-high of 239 set last season.
The Warriors won for the 34th consecutive time when Thompson has scored 25 or more points, which also is an NBA record. Guard Gail Goodrich of the Los Angeles Lakers had established the previous record of 30 during the 1971-72 season.
Thompson averaged 41.3 points in two games v Mavericks this season, hitting 41-for-67 from the field, 26-for-45 on 3’s, and 16-for-17 from the free throw line.
Draymond Green complemented the Warriors’ guard-heavy output with 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Harrison Barnes made it four Warriors in double figures with 11 points.
Wesley Matthews paced a balance Dallas attack with 26 points, which included six 3-pointers.
The Mavericks were even more accurate on their 3’s than the Warriors, making 18 of 35 (51.4 percent).
J.J. Barea had 21 points, Raymond Felton 17 and Villanueva 16 Dallas, which lost for the ninth time in its last 11 games, a stretch that includes a 130-112 home loss to Warriors last Friday.
Zaza Pachulia grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 12 points for the Mavericks.