Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Tony Parker scored 33 points and San Antonio’s big three powered the Southwest Division-leading Spurs to a 97-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Manu Ginobili added 25 points and Tim Duncan contributed 22 points with eight rebounds for the Spurs, who widened their lead to 7 1/2 games over the second- place Mavericks. San Antonio has posted four wins in its last five overall and won the season series, 3-1, over Dallas.
“The last three days we talked about defense,” Parker said. “The whole session, film session, not playing physical, not playing with enough intensity, and not playing good defense defensively basically. Tonight we just wanted to make sure to play good defense and stay in front of people and make sure the shots were hard for them. I thought overall we played great defense, even if the offense was not getting it in the hole, at least we made stops.”
Dirk Nowitzki led the way with 23 points for the Mavs, who lost for the third time in four contests. Jason Terry had 19 points in defeat.
“It was a disappointing loss tonight. Obviously we’re not playing the way earlier on this season and this point right now,” Terry said. “The good thing, the positive thing is we still have time to get things corrected. We’ve got to come to practice tomorrow, strap them up, watch some film and get ready for Golden State (Sunday).”
Nowitzki’s jumper tied the game at 60 midway through the third quarter, but Duncan scored six and Ginobili canned a three-ball during an ensuing 9-0 push. It was 73-66 going to the fourth.
A Terry three-pointer had Dallas within 73-71 with 7 1/2 minutes left, but the Spurs pulled away with an 18-6 burst, capped by Duncan’s short jumper with 2:36 left.
The Mavs had some late life when Terry knocked down a three for a 95-91 score with 38.9 seconds left. Parker then made two from the foul line and the Mavs chose not to foul over the final 25 seconds after Rodrigue Beaubois missed a three-point shot.
It was a much-needed turn-around for the Spurs, considering they were buried by 30 points in Miami on Monday.
The Spurs took control early by embarking on a 14-3 run. Richard Jefferson started the burst with a three-pointer, and Gary Neal ended it with another long-distance shot for a 26-12 difference. San Antonio carried that to a 30-20 lead after 12 minutes.
San Antonio widened the gap to 18 points later in the half before the Mavs closed with a flourish. An 11-2 push tightened the difference to 50-45 at the break. Shawn Marion was the catalyst in the latter stages of the half, scoring six points over the final 2:03.
Nowitzki connected on all three of his foul shots and has made his last 56 free throws. The streak, which began in the fourth quarter of the game vs. Indiana on March 4, is the longest in the NBA this year…Before Friday, San Antonio had dropped four straight regular season affairs to Dallas when Nowitzki is on the floor…Marion and J.J. Barea each had 13 points for Dallas.