Mavs get the message, beat the Spurs

Mark Cuban had to like what he saw this time.

Josh Howard scored 29 points including a key layup in the final minute, Jason Kidd hit a clutch 3-pointer with 31 seconds left and the Dallas Mavericks — perhaps inspired by a tongue-lashing from their owner—beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-102 Wednesday night.

The Mavericks were thumped Monday night in Oklahoma City by a Thunder team missing its two leading scorers. On Tuesday, Cuban questioned his team’s effort and commitment, threatening to get rid of anyone he didn’t think was trying.

“I don’t care what their contract is,” he said. “I would rather turn over the roster 100 percent than subject fans to another game like last night.”

Dallas took control of a tight game by holding the Spurs to only two baskets over the final 7 minutes of the third quarter, turning a four-point deficit into a seven-point lead. The lead grew to 10 late in the fourth quarter, until Tony Parker led a 10-2 surge that got San Antonio within 100-98.

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