Dallas at San Antonio

Nowitzki's 14 fourth-quarter points spur Mavs to victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- It could very well have been a preview of this season's Western Conference finals.

But for San Antonio, a 95-92 loss to Dallas on Friday night was more a repeat of last season's West semifinals, when the Spurs lost to the Mavericks at home in overtime in Game 7.

"There was a reminder from (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) about Game 7 and that situation," said Tim Duncan, who scored 29 points. "We put ourselves in a hole these last couple games and we have to find a way to get away from that."

Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Mavericks to their eighth straight victory. Jason Terry had 14 points and 10 assists, Josh Howard added 12 points in his return to the lineup, and Erick Dampier contributed 11.

It was the second matchup of the season between the West powers. The Spurs beat the Mavs 97-91 in Dallas in the teams' season opener in November.

"It was definitely a big game," Nowitzki said. "They beat us in our home opener and we didn't want to go down 0-2 against them."

It was the Spurs' third loss of the season. All three have been at home.

"They did a great job for 48 minutes," Popovich said. "We did a great job for a half."

Tony Parker had 16 points and Fabricio Oberto, who Popovich called the Spurs' "most consistent player," had 14.

Duncan made three free throws with 12 seconds left to bring the Spurs within one, but two from the line by Nowitzki and last-second misses by Robert Horry and Michael Finley allowed Dallas to pull out the victory.

Finley said he thought he "got pushed a bit" on his final shot, but no foul was called.

"It's a tough situation for a referee," Finley said, adding, "The game didn't come down to that last shot. There are things we could have done earlier to take ourselves out of that situation."

Both teams went to their mainstays in the fourth, with Duncan scoring eight straight points for the Spurs and Parker following with six. Duncan had 11 in the period.

"Every time we see each other it has a playoff atmosphere," said the Mavs' Jerry Stackhouse.

The Spurs' poor shooting from the 3-point range combined with a strong fast break performance by the Mavs helped seal the night for Dallas.

The Spurs were 3-of-12 (25 percent) on 3-pointers, while the Mavs were 7-of-16 (44 percent). San Antonio's Brent Barry was 1-of-4 behind the arc after entering the game 24-of-39.

Dallas had 20 fast-break points to two from the Spurs.

"We were scared in terms of their fast break," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "Tony Parker and (Manu) Ginobili, they are one-man fast breaks. Once they get the ball they can go coast to coast."

Nowitzki scored 10 points in the first quarter, helping the Mavs take a 37-23 lead. He was only 1-of-5 in the second but combined with Terry for 22 points and seven assists in the half.

Dallas had a 9-0 advantage in fast-break points and was 6-of-11 from behind the arc to take a 59-50 halftime lead. Duncan led the Spurs with 13 points.

"It's a bad habit," Parker said of the Spurs' pattern of playing from behind. "You can't do that, especially against Dallas. We have to find a way to have a better start."

The Spurs cut the deficit to three points 1:28 into the third with a reverse dunk from Oberto, a fast-break bucket from Parker and a layup from Duncan. But Dallas eventually pushed the lead back to nine and was ahead 74-73 at the end of the period after officials ruled a last-second shot by Oberto didn't beat the buzzer.

The Spurs never led in the fourth.

Johnson got a technical in the third for arguing with an official. Fans in the arena yelled it was "about time" since Johnson had been involved in a vigorous back-and-forth with an official during the first half.

Notes

  • Howard had missed eight games after spraining his left ankle Nov. 6. He played 16 minutes Friday.
  • The Mavs' Devean George -- strained right knee -- and DJ Mbenga -- strained tendon -- didn't play.
  • The Mavs started the season 0-4.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Dallas coach Avery Johnson and referee Joe Forte engage in a war of words during the Mavs win.  (AP)
Dallas coach Avery Johnson and referee Joe Forte engage in a war of words during the Mavs win. (AP)

Scoreboard
Dallas (8-4) «3722152195
San Antonio (10-3) 2327231992
DAL:D. Nowitzki 31 Pts
DAL:D. Nowitzki 10 Reb
DAL:J. Terry 10 Ast
SA:T. Duncan 29 Pts
SA:F. Oberto 11 Reb
SA:B. Bowen 3 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioDallas

T. Duncan

D. Nowitzki
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
296331103
Dallas
D. Nowitzki, PF3812-236-6103331
J. Terry, PG386-110-0010214
D. Harris, PG354-80-02439
J. Stackhouse, SG324-100-23239
E. Dampier, C254-43-390511
D. Diop, C221-10-08242
J. Howard, SF164-93-431112
A. Johnson, PG132-40-03014
A. Croshere, PF101-50-03023
G. Buckner, SG100-10-00100
D. George, SFDid Not Play
D. Mbenga, CDid Not Play
M. Ager, SGDid Not Play
P. Mensah-Bonsu, PFDid Not Play
J. Barea, PGDid Not Play
Totals 38-7612-1541232495
 50.0%80.0% 
San Antonio
T. Duncan, PF3910-169-1563129
B. Bowen, SF382-40-00325
T. Parker, PG367-132-342316
F. Oberto, PF356-82-2112214
M. Ginobili, SG243-91-14118
B. Barry, SG244-70-04159
R. Horry, PF162-70-02224
J. Vaughn, PG111-41-20213
M. Finley, SG100-40-02000
F. Elson, C61-10-02002
B. Udrih, PG20-02-20002
E. Williams, PFDid Not Play
M. Bonner, PFDid Not Play
J. Butler, CDid Not Play
J. White, GDid Not Play
Totals 36-7317-2535161792
 49.3%68.0% 
Other Games
Tor 93 Final
Atl 97
Chi 108 Final
Phi 123
NY 101 Final
Bos 77
Orl 107 Final
Mia 104
Char 95 Final
Det 104
Min 86 Final
NO 79
Wash 80 Final
Mem 95
Cle 87 Final
Ind 97
GS 129 Final
Den 140
LAL 108 Final
Utah 114
NJ 93 Final
Pho 99
Sac 109 Final
Sea 100