OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have created space behind them in the crowded Western Conference standings and are showing no signs of slowing down their surge up the standings.
Jordan Crawford scored 19 points, Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Warriors routed the Dallas Mavericks 108-85 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.
Golden State (41-24) is sixth in the West, three games ahead of Dallas (38-27) and Memphis (37-26). The Warriors also are four games behind the Clippers (45-20) in the Pacific Division, with the final meeting between the teams this season looming large in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
"It's a big-time win for us," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "If you lose this game, then all of the sudden there's three teams again within striking distance. I think this gave us some breathing room, especially with the fact that we have a big game (Wednesday) night against a red-hot Clippers team."
Former Warriors fan favorite Monta Ellis scored 15 points, and Dirk Nowitzki had 12 points and six rebounds in a disappointing display by Dallas. The Warriors outshot the Mavericks 51.2 percent to 36.6 percent and outrebounded Dallas 46-40 en route to building a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Dallas and Golden State both have 17 games remaining.
"I don't think we are in a situation to think about seeding," said Mavericks guard Jose Calderon, who had 13 points and five assists. "I think right now we're in a situation where we've got to win every game."
The Warriors, who finished 47-35 last year to earn the conference's sixth playoff seed, are aiming higher this time.
The Warriors are 10-2 since the All-Star break and a season-high 17 games over .500. After winning 10 consecutive games earlier this season, Golden State is gaining steam again.
In the latest matchup pivotal for playoff positioning, the Warriors shook off a slow start by clamping down on defense and pushing the pace.
The Warriors ended the first quarter on a 21-6 run capped by Crawford's long jumper as time expired to take a 29-22 lead. But the backup guard was just beginning his sizzling stretch — and so were the Warriors.
Crawford scored 12 points alone in the second quarter, finishing with the most points he's scored since coming to Golden State in a trade from Boston in January. The Warriors' reserves outscored Dallas' bench 59 to 37.
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