The Dallas Mavericks haven't signed Dennis Rodman yet, but they were plenty of fireworks without him.
In a game featuring three ejections, five technicals and two flagrant fouls both against the Warriors the Mavericks beat Golden State 117-103 Tuesday night to complete a four-game season series sweep.
"Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt," said Mavericks center Sean Rooks. "We didn't want to start a rumble. We just wanted to play ball."
Dirk Nowitzki added 23 points and Cedric Ceballos had 18 in the Mavericks' fifth victory in seven games, their most successful stretch of the season.
"I don't know if they were frustrated or what," Ceballos said of the Warriors. "I've been the victim of flagrant fouls. Those things shouldn't happen on the court."
Dallas' Shawn Bradley had 15 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and three blocks before being ejected in the first of two separate third-quarter incidents.
Antawn Jamison's 33 points and career-high 21 rebounds paced the Warriors, who've lost 14 of 16. Sam Jacobson added a career-high 15 points for Golden State.
Dallas led 73-56 with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter when Bradley shoved Mark Davis during a stoppage in play. Davis lifted the 7-foot-6 Bradley into the air and attempted to slam him to the floor.
With 1:18 left in the quarter, Golden State's Vonteego Cummings was ejected, the result of a flagrant foul gainst Dallas' Steve Nash.
Nash was going in for a solo layup when Cummings pushed Nash into the padded basket support. Finley went after Cummings and players began pushing and shoving.
Mavericks coach Don Nelson was pleased to see Finley come to the aid of his teammate.
"I'm real happy with the way the team stuck up for one another when we got into a confrontation," Nelson said. "That means we're coming around a little bit."
Said Warriors coach Garry St. Jean: "There was no intent to hurt anybody, but we were going to play hard. I thought they were just hard basketball plays."
The Mavericks built a 59-48 lead at halftime behind Finley's 9-for-12 shooting.
Before the game, the Mavericks returned power foward Gary Trent to the injured list. Owner-to-be Mark Cuban said he was optimistic that he would be able to sign Rodman as a replacement by next week.
Rodman would be expected to shore up Dallas' defense and rebounding. The Mavericks are last in the league in points allowed and rebound percentage.
"In talking to Dennis and his agent, they were saying the words I wanted to hear: defense, rebounding, winning, bringing a winning attitude to the court," Cuban said. "Putting all these pieces together, we thought it would be really possible to come to a deal."
Rodman had previous commitments to attend the Super Bowl, and Cuban was hoping final details on a contract could be worked out and Rodman could be in uniform early next week.
Mavericks players say they will welcome Rodman if and when he joins them.
"He'll help us in two areas where we need help, and those are defense and rebounding," said Dallas guard Erick Strickland.
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