Four days after shooting a season-low 36 percent in a seven-point loss to UC Santa Barbara, the Golden Bears responded with their highest point total in more than two years. Six Cal players scored in double figures while helping coach Mike Montgomery tie legendary coach John Wooden for career victories (664).
Deonte Burton had 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Nevada (4-6).
Montgomery juggled his lineup after the 72-65 loss to Santa Barbara, saying he wanted to shake things up.
Mathews had 11 points in the first half to help Cal overcome a sluggish start while usual starters Bird and Tyrone Wallace combined for 30 points off the bench.
The Bears needed it to hold off a pesky Wolfpack team sparked by another stellar effort from Burton. The Nevada senior, who has never missed a start in three-plus years at the school, was 9-for-18 from the floor and finished five points shy of his career high.
Cal countered with its most balanced offensive effort of the season and its highest point total since scoring 105 against Arizona on Feb. 5, 2011.
Wallace and Richard Solomon scored 14 points apiece for the Bears.
Nevada made eight of its first 10 shots and led 17-10 early in the first half. Jerry Evans Jr. had six points to get the Wolfpack going while Burton had a pair of assists and a layup.
Burton added a driving layup and a thunderous one-handed dunk midway through the half but Nevada couldn't sustain the pace.
Wallace made three 3-pointers over the final 13 minutes, Mathews added 11 points and Solomon made a pair of free throws with 59.5 seconds remaining to help Cal take a 49-40 halftime lead.
Kravish scored eight straight points for the Bears to extend the lead to 61-49 before Burton nearly brought the Wolfpack back.
The nation's 11th-leading scorer at the beginning of the month, Burton scored 12 of Nevada's 17 points over a span of eight minutes to trim the gap to 69-64.
Bird, held to four points in the first half, responded with a layup and 3-pointer, Kravish blocked a shot by Cole Huff and the Bears held on to remain unbeaten in six games at Haas Pavilion this season.
The second annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, eight games between members of the Big East and Big Ten to be played Nov. 14-18, will feature Villanova at Purdue in the opener.
Michael Lewis is leaving his assistant coaching job at Butler to take the same position at Nebraska under Tim Miles.
College basketball fans should be excited about next season's Jimmy V Classic, an event that will feature Duke's heralded freshman class.