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Warriors beat Mavericks in pivotal Western Conference showdown

DALLAS — Klay Thompson talked about using the final nine regular-season games as a “warm-up” for the postseason.

Golden State’s  composure Wednesday night in a high-stakes matchup against the Dallas Mavericks with playoff implications on the line was a good start.

Both teams played with desperation down the stretch, but Golden State pulled out the 127-125 win in the two teams’ third and final meeting.

The win gave the Warriors the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Warriors were up by eight at the 7:42, but the Mavericks used a 11-2 run to knot the game up at 113 with 5:21 left in the fourth. The two teams would go on to exchange baskets like a game of ping-pong.

Luka Doncic, in his first game back since March 8 after straining a thigh muscle, missed a tough shot to put the ball back in the Warriors’ hands with about 30 seconds left in the game. Stephen Curry ran down the clock before gliding to the basket for a layup to give the Warriors three-point advantage with 8.5 seconds remaining.

The Mavericks basically had one shot to get it right. They went to Doncic, who missed the shot under the basket, and Thompson secured the rebound.

Kevon Looney knocked down a pair of free throws to build the Warriors’ lead to five, rendering Reggie Bullock’s 3-pointer at the final horn meaningless.

The Warriors won back-to-back road games for only the second time this season.

Six Warriors finished with 12 or more points. Jonathan Kuminga led the way with 22 points off the bench, Curry added 20 and Jordan Poole had 16.

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Draymond Green scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. He also had eight assists, four rebounds, four block shots and three steals.

Looney, playing through back pain, finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors improve to 38-36 on the season and are sixth in the Western Conference standings. The win put them a half-game behind the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers and a game ahead of the seventh-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile, the Mavericks are hanging by a thread to a play-in berth.

The Warriors, who are 29-7 at home, will play their next four games at Chase Center. They’re scheduled to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

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