Score Strip

Spurs hand Mavericks 6th straight loss

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- San Antonio didn't humiliate the Dallas Mavericks this time out, but the Spurs did net another sound victory over their instate rivals. Tony Parker scored 21 points as San Antonio took care of the Mavericks 111-86 Sunday night at American Airlines Center.

Southwest Division-leading San Antonio (24-8) will take a five-game winning streak going into a New Year's Eve date with Brooklyn at AT&T Center. Dallas (12-19) has lost six straight and hasn't been seven games under .500 since the 1999-2000 season.

"We just didn't get it done, and we haven't gotten it done in a pretty significant stretch of games now," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "It starts with me and then it goes right down the line. There are no excuses."

The Spurs led from start to finish, and though it didn't come close to the 38-point demolition that took place last week in San Antonio, the outcome was never in doubt. The lead reached 10 points just minutes into the game and exceeded 20 in the fourth quarter.

"We were not terrific, but very solid," Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili said. "They were not very inspired. We forced them to take some bad shots."

In between, the Spurs were in control. Ginobili added 20 points, Tim Duncan scored 18 and Tiago Splitter had 13. San Antonio shot 50.6 percent and hit eight 3-pointers. (The Spurs nailed a team-record 20 3-pointers in last week's 129-91 rout of Dallas.)

Darren Collison led the Mavericks with 18 points. Vince Carter and Chris Kaman scored 13 each. Dirk Nowitzki had eight on 3-for-9 shooting off the bench.

Dallas hasn't won since beating Philadelphia on Dec. 18.

"The first thing we've got to do is collectively make a stand and just decide we're going to bust through this thing," Carlisle said. "It's got to start defensively and on the boards. From there, the offensive things generally take care of themselves as long as we're not throwing the ball all over the place.

"We're just very disappointed, but we can't make excuses. We've got to stick together and we've got to fight, and we've got to fight harder than we did tonight."

The Spurs established their dominance early, toying with Dallas in the early minutes and opening a double-figure lead. San Antonio was up 20-8 when Nowitzki first checked into the game.

Parker had 10 points in the first quarter alone. The Mavericks did make a charge with their second team, as Elton Brand scored six off the bench, cutting San Antonio's lead to 27-22 going into the second period.

The Mavericks closed the gap more in the second before Duncan and Splitter caught fire. San Antonio's advantage ballooned to 57-45 at the half as Dallas' surges seemed to be matched by the Spurs all night.

"That did happen tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They did stay in the game. When they did make the runs, for whatever reason, we ended up making a shot or two or getting a stop or two at the same time and kicking it back up to six or eight or 10. It worked out tonight, but it doesn't always do that. Tonight it did."

NOTES: Popovich said he hasn't been given any directive from the league on the proper procedures for giving players games off. The Spurs were fined $250,000 for sending Duncan, Ginobili and Parker home before a game at Miami earlier this season. "I don't know how you plan," Popovich said. "I'm just going to do what I've been doing for ... 16, 17 years. I'm mostly concerned with the health and safety of my players, especially the ones who are a little bit older. When they need rest I'm going to give it to them." ... San Antonio is leading the Southwest Division and beat the Mavericks by 38 a week prior to Sunday's meeting. "They're doing everything well," Carlisle said. "They're defending, they're taking care of the ball, they're shooting good. They're one of those top teams, one of those handful that's right there. It's challenging to play them." ... Parker has been given a warning about flopping. "Referees can be fooled," Popovich said. "What the league is doing will probably, will hopefully diminish flopping a little bit because players are more aware of it." ... Nowitzki came off the bench for the fourth straight game. ... Spurs guard Gary Neal (calf) missed his third game in a row.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
View Comments