DALLAS -- The streaking San Antonio Spurs
were already without ill coach Gregg Popovich and All-Star forward Tim Duncan
. Then they lost All-Star point guard Tony Parker
for all but three minutes of the first quarter after two cuts to his left eye that would require three stitches to close.
None of it stopped the Spurs from continuing their season-long demolition of the Dallas Mavericks
on Friday night at American Airlines Center. San Antonio added a 113-107 victory -- a score not indicative of the lead most of the game -- to margins of 38 and 25 points in the first two meetings.
The Spurs have now won seven in a row and improved their record to 35-11, taking their last two without Duncan, who's nursing a sore left knee, and Popovich, who has been knocked out by an illness.
Dallas, which had won five of six games before entering a four-day break without games, started slowly, trailed by 10 at halftime and then were blown out by a 19-6 Spurs run to open the first four minutes of the third quarter. The lead would grow as high as 26 points before Dallas found a bit of life and slowly made a push to get back in the game.
The Mavs cut the lead to 101-90 with less than four minutes to go, but Parker's back-to-back baskets on hard drives built the lead back up to 15 with 3:12 left. An 11-0 run in the final minute helped to close the gap.
Parker, who returned to the game in the second quarter, produced another sensational game, showing why he was added as a reserve to the West All-Star team on Thursday. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists, dicing up the Mavs' defense during that killer spurt in the third.
Scarcely used Spurs big man DeJuan Blair filled in for Duncan with somewhat of a Duncanesque performance, scoring 17 of his season-high 22 points in the first half. He made 10 of 13 shots in just 19 minutes. The last time Blair scored in double figures was on Nov. 28 when he had 11 against Orlando.
The Spurs had five players in double figures before four minutes elapsed in the third quarter and seven reached double digits by time the game was over. Tiago Splitter posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Gary Neal had 18 points and Danny Green hit for 11 points, including going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Dallas didn't get much help from its backcourt with O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison going 1 of 6 from the 3-point arc. Collison finished with 13 points thank to late flurry and two assists. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 15 points, but he struggled with his shot, especially in the crucial final few minutes when he couldn't convert a pair of jumpers.
Vince Carter led Dallas with 17 points and Roddy Beaubois turned in one of his best games of the season with 16 points in less than 15 minutes.
Notes: Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he's not interested in bringing back Delonte West, despite the guard signing with the club's D-League affiliate Texas Legends on Friday. ... Popovich's return Sunday against Phoenix is uncertain. ... Second-year forward Kawhi Leonard returned after missing one game with a lacerated left knee. ... The Mavs had a rare-four day break, having not played since Sunday at Orlando.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dallas Mavericks
- San Antonio Spurs
- Gregg Popovich
- Tim Duncan
- Tony Parker
- American Airlines Center