SAN ANTONIO -- Making his first start of the season, Jason Terry got right into the flow of things.
"It was nice to be back out there and competing at a high level," said Terry, who shot 13-of-21 and had six assists. "With the guys we have out there, we've got a lineup that's been playing together for four or five years now. We know each other, and we play well with each other."
The Spurs are off to their worst start since opening the 1973-74 ABA season 0-4. It was their first season in San Antonio after playing in Dallas as the Chaparrals. The Spurs joined the NBA in 1976.
"Uncharted territory for us," Duncan said of the 0-3 start. "We've played some bad basketball so far, to say he least."
After trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs cut Dallas' lead to 30-27 on Parker's 20-foot jump shot with 8:34 before halftime.
But the Mavericks quickly shot out to a double-digit lead with two jumpers from Terry and a 3-pointer by Antoine Wright.
"Jet (Terry) really came out," Nowitzki said. "We definitely need his offense in our group. Whether he starts or is off the bench, we need his shooting and we need his scoring."
Leading 41-31 with 3:33 to go in the second quarter, the Mavericks finished the first half by hitting five of six shots. Nowitzki had three of them, including a 3-pointer, and Dallas went up by 18.
"They came out with a lot of energy, they shot the ball well and executed," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We did the opposite, and that put us in the hole."
Dallas was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line in the half. San Antonio was 3-of-11.
Combined, Howard, Nowitzki and Terry scored 73 points on 33-of-56 shooting for the game.
It was just one night ago in Dallas that the Mavs lost by 19 to Cleveland. Nowitzki was 3-of-11 in that game.
"I think we didn't compete hard enough yesterday and got embarrassed in our building," Nowitzki said. "We had a long meeting this morning, and we just had to get back to playing hard on both ends of the floor. I think today we found a good rhythm."
Kidd hit a 3-pointer on the first shot of the second half, and the Mavericks were 10-of-19 from the floor in the third quarter. The Mavericks led by 23 points as late as 5:49 left in the third quarter.
But the Spurs cut it to 80-73 with 7:29 left in the game on two free throws by first-round draft pick George Hill. But Nowitzki then scored six points to help Dallas open up an 88-73 lead.
The Spurs couldn't take advantage of a big edge from the free throw line. San Antonio made 14-of-20 from the foul line compared to 5-of-5 for Dallas.
- Spurs C Fabricio Oberto checked in for the first time 9:14 into the game and played 14 minutes after missing the first two games of the season with an irregular heartbeat.
- After spraining his left thumb in the preseason, Hill saw his first action of the season when he checked into the game with San Antonio trailing by 19 points late in the third quarter.
- Spurs F Anthony Tolliver returned to the team after the death of his mother, but he was listed as inactive.