Star power Spurs them to a close win over the Mavericks

Tony Parker scored 33 points, Manu Ginobili had 25 and Tim Duncan added 22 as the three help take a good early lead.

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DALLAS // Tony Parker scored 33 points, Manu Ginobili had 25 and Tim Duncan added 22, lifting the San Antonio Spurs to a 97-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Playing for the first time since losing to Miami by 30 on Monday night, the Spurs looked hungry and rested from the start, jumping ahead by 18 early in the second quarter. Then the Mavericks cranked up the defence and made things interesting.

Dallas tied it at 60 and was within a basket of tying it again midway through the fourth quarter when San Antonio's trio of stars got rolling again. They sparked a 13-2 run that ended any drama and gave the Spurs a 3-1 win in the season series between the in-state rivals.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 23 points. The Mavericks lost for the fifth time in eight games, with all the losses to potential play-off foes.

Shawn Marion scored 13 points in 14 first-half minutes, but hurt his right wrist and didn't play the second half. The Mavericks missed his energy and scoring during their comeback bid, going instead with a three-guard lineup. They actually opened the game that way, too, but probably wouldn't have finished with that lineup had he been healthy.

Reserves Jason Terry had 19 points and JJ Barea had 13. Nowitzki was the only starter to score in double figures.

The Spurs didn't need much more than their three stars. The rest of the club combined for just 17 points, eight from Gary Neal.

San Antonio's reliance on Parker, Ginobili and Duncan caused some problems late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. The Spurs went 6:31 between baskets, missing 13 straight shots. Neal actually had the drought-buster, but it was set up by a backcourt steal by Ginobili.

The Spurs were intense from the start, with coach Gregg Popovich calling a timeout just 42 seconds into the game after a missed shot and a made shot by the Mavs. His team then went on a 10-0 run, followed by a 9-0 spurt later in the quarter. Dallas was so lackadaisical that Marion and Tyson Chandler each dropped the ball out of bounds in the backcourt with no one around on consecutive trips down the court.

The Mavs - who overcame an 18-point deficit in their previous game, at Golden State - finally got things going once they were down 40-22. They forced a 24-second violation and their confidence and intensity grew from there. They started pushing the action and got within 50-45 at halftime.

Dallas tied it midway through the third quarter on a jumper by Nowitzki over Duncan. Fans went crazy, but it was short-lived. San Antonio even managed to weather its long, late drought, mostly because the Mavs went through a shooting skid of their own.


Heat 106, Hawks 85

Magic 85, Nuggets 82

Rockets 93, Celtics 77

Pacers 115, Bulls 108, OT

Thunder 99, Bobcats 82

Lakers 106, Timberwolves 98

Suns 108, Warriors 97

Pistons 99, Knicks 95

76ers 102, Kings 80

Bucks 110, Nets 95

Raptors 116, Wizards 107