Tim Duncan scored eight of his 32 points in the decisive second overtime, Tony Parker added 29 points and 10 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 133-126 Tuesday night in the latest thriller between these Interstate-35 rivals.
There were six lead changes and three ties just in the overtimes, until Bruce Bowen nailed an open 3-pointer from the right corner off a pass from Duncan to put San Antonio ahead for good. It came with 1:47 left and it was Bowen’s only points.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points and Jason Kidd added a season-high 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, but the Mavericks lost for only the second time in their last 10 games. They also had their five-game home winning streak snapped.
The loss added to the misery on a day they learned Josh Howard, their second-leading scorer and rebounder, would be out indefinitely because of an ankle injury that’s already kept him out of the previous eight games.
Dallas had a chance to tie the game at 127, but Erick Dampier—a 58-percent foul shooter who had been 4-for-4 from the line in this game—barely made it to the front rim on his first attempt. He swished his second, but the Mavericks never recovered.
Duncan began stretching the lead with a short basket off a terrific feed from Manu Ginobili. Jason Terry missed for Dallas and Roger Mason got the rebound, then made a pair of free throws to make it 131-126. When Nowitzki missed a 3-pointer with Bowen flying by him, all the tension and doubt about the outcome was gone.
The Spurs won for the seventh time in nine games, and it was certainly a team effort. All five starters scored at least 13 points, including Matt Bonner going 5-for-5, with three 3-pointers. Mason scored 12 off the bench.
Duncan matched his season in points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Ginobili scored 18 despite shooting only 7-of-21. He was 2-of-9 on 3-pointers.
J.J. Barea continued his inspiring play for the Mavericks, scoring 21 points before fouling out. He had a fourth-quarter stretch of 11 straight points created, eight by himself—including drives at Duncan and around Parker—and a drive-and-dish feed to Kidd for a 3-pointer.
Reserve Jason Terry had 19 points and a season-high nine rebounds, but he also had six turnovers; he lost a ball out of bounds on the baseline with 1:31 left in the second overtime and Dallas down a basket.
The Mavs led by as much as 11 in regulation, and the Spurs by seven, but it was close throughout the second half. Consider this: Dallas shot 12-of-14 in the third quarter, made three more free throws than San Antonio and grabbed a few more rebounds—yet didn’t gain any ground. The Spurs went into the fourth quarter up by two, just like they had been at halftime.
Nowitzki tied it at 107 with 1:23 left in regulation, then both teams failed to score again, with Parker missing an open 21-footer just before time expired.
The Spurs had a great chance to close it out in the first overtime when Terry was called for a flagrant foul after taking Parker down hard from behind on a breakaway layup with 43 seconds left and San Antonio already up 115-113.
But Parker made only one of two free throws, then missed a jumper on the ensuing possession. Kidd tied it on a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left, then Ginobili missed a layup with 1.1 seconds to go. After a timeout, Nowitzki threw up an airball on a 28-foot fadeaway while covered by Duncan.
The season series between these teams is now 1-1, with the road team winning both. Dallas won in San Antonio in early November.