DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki opened the playoffs in a high gear, making 12 of 14 shots and scoring 36 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 100-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
Caron Butler scored 22 points and Brendan Haywood added 10 in their playoff debut for Dallas. Both were part of a major trade in February that turned a good Mavericks team into a much better one. They came into the playoffs having won eight of 10 and five straight.
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker all looked in prime playoff form - but didn't get much help.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Dallas.
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