DALLAS -- Patty Mills scored 26 points starting in place of Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs moved to the brink of the top seed in the Western Conference with a 109-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Making his second start of the season and seventh of his career with Parker nursing a bad back, Mills had 11 points and a pair of steals in the third quarter when the Spurs turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks for the ninth straight time in the regular season, a streak that has lasted more than two years.
The Spurs are just a win or an Oklahoma City loss away from securing the top seed in the West.
The Mavericks (48-32) are in a three-team scrum with Phoenix and Memphis -- their opponents in the final two games -- for the final two playoff spots a year after missing the postseason for the first time since 2000. Dallas is in a virtual tie with the Suns (47-31) and a game ahead of the Grizzlies (46-32).
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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