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Mavericks 104, Warriors 102

April 9, 1996

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Bimbo Coles didn’t get the call he wanted, then lost the ball when he turned to yell at a referee, resulting in a basket that led to a frustrating loss by the Golden State Warriors, severely hurting their playoff chances.

Jason Kidd had 21 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and his steal from Coles with 45 seconds remaining led to the go-ahead basket as the Dallas Mavericks defeated Golden State 104-102 Monday night.

The loss dropped the Warriors two games behind Sacramento in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Golden State is a half-game ahead of Denver.

``This was a tough loss for us. We were in a situation to win the game, and the schedule was to our favor,″ Coles said. ``So it’s a big loss for us.″

Latrell Sprewell, who had 25 points for Golden State, hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:33 left to give the Warriors a 98-97 lead. George McCloud missed a 3-pointer for Dallas that was rebounded by Coles with 49 seconds left.

But Coles, feeling he had been fouled on the rebound, turned to yell at a referee _ and Kidd punched the ball away from him. It went right to Jim Jackson for an uncontested layup. Coles also felt he was fouled by Kidd on the steal.

``There was a foul both times,″ said Coles, who tied his season high with six turnovers. ``He went over my back the first time, and then he slapped me on the arm. The second foul was way worse than the first one.″

The Mavericks added two more steals in the final seconds to hold off the Warriors.

``It’s very frustrating because we want that playoff spot, and this win right here could have put us one game back,″ said Joe Smith, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors. ``Losing tonight makes it kind of tough for us with six games left.″

Jackson had 24 points and McCloud 22 for Dallas, which plays at Sacramento tonight. Kidd fell one rebound short of his eighth triple-double this season, while McCloud tied his career high with nine assists.

``You are talking about Golden State playing for the eighth spot. They needed this game,″ Kidd said. ``We are now looking forward to going to Sacramento and ruining their playoff hopes.″

Popeye Jones had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavs, who hit nine 3-pointers. Dallas, which already has set NBA records for 3-pointers made and attempted this season, went 9-for-25 from behind the line. Kidd hit all three of his 3-pointers and McCloud went 3-for-12.

Dallas coach Dick Motta said his club, which opened the season with four straight wins but fell below .500 by the end of November and has never gotten back above that mark, hopes to end with a sense of optimism.

``I can see us starting to come together a little bit,″ Motta said. ``Maybe this season hasn’t been what you would want, but in 12 or 15 years from now when guys are winding down their careers, they are going to take away some great lessons from this year.″

For the Warriors, there was little optimism as they fell further behind Sacramento.

``It really does hurt,″ Warriors coach Rick Adelman said. ``I really thought we were going to win this game. We just made too many mistakes.″

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