Spurs push Mavs to brink of elimination

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - If Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hasn't already done so, he may want to apologize for calling his role players "dogs."

Because they put the Dallas Mavericks on the brink of elimination.

Tim Duncan had a miserable 34th birthday and Manu Ginobili looked as bad at times as his bandaged-up nose. But George Hill scored 29 points and San Antonio beat the Mavs 92-89 on Sunday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

Popovich called out his supporting cast after losing Game 1. But it was his Big Three who had little bark in Game 4.

The Spurs have won three straight since Popovich's tongue-lashing, and they've put the Mavs on the edge of their third first-round exit in four years.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Dallas.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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