Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Wednesday, December 11th
Mavericks104Final
Spurs111
Game 2: Thursday, February 20th
Spurs87Final
Mavericks95
Game 3: Thursday, March 20th
Spurs112Final
OT
Mavericks110
Game 4: Wednesday, April 16th
Mavericks93Final
Spurs72

Spurs 87

 

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, February 20, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    SA 19 24 17 2787
    DAL 29 17 27 2295

    Top Performers

    San Antonio: M. Rose 25 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Dallas: S. Nash 29 Pts, 2 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl

    Duncan leaves game after being hit in eye

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks did exactly what they had to do in what coach Don Nelson considered the most important game of the season.

    Steve Nash

    Steve Nash, left, and the Mavs ended their four-game losing streak against the Spurs.

    They limited Tim Duncan and beat surging San Antonio, winning 95-87 to snap a nine-game winning streak that had gotten the Spurs within four games of Dallas for the Midwest Division lead and the NBA's best record.

    "It's good to break that streak,'' Mavs guard Nick Van Exel said. "Our defensive gameplan was unbelievable. The plan was to limit Duncan's 1-on-1 catches, always have someone in front of him and somebody behind him.''

    Duncan, with at least two defenders in his face every time he touched the ball, was held to 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting before leaving the game for good after being poked in the right eye.

    "I'm not going to go into detail about what we did,'' Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "We were able to execute some things we were never able to execute before and switch into a zone and do a really good job in a couple of their favorite areas.

    "It was a really good win for us, probably one of the best of the season.''

    San Antonio set an NBA record with eight straight road wins on the same trip, including victories at Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers, before returning home for a 101-76 victory Tuesday night against Denver.

    Steve Nash had 29 points and 10 assists to lead the Mavericks.

    Duncan left the game with 8:13 remaining after behind poked by Michael Finley on a hard foul. Duncan walked unaided to the locker room after staying down for a couple of minutes.

    While Duncan's eye was swollen and remained sore after the game, Spurs officials said there were no scratches or other damage to the eye. He will be checked Friday.

    Once play resumed without Duncan, the Spurs responded with a 16-2 run.

    Tony Parker hit a 3-pointer. Malik Rose then scored eight of his 25 points in the run, including two free throws with 3:08 left to pull the Spurs within 84-82 -- the closest they would get.

    "I was really happy with our group for continuing to play. A lot of teams would have cashed it in,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Dallas played aggressive and went out and got a great victory.''

    Dirk Nowitzki, playing on a sprained right ankle, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:53 left to end the Spurs run.

    Even though the Mavericks have the NBA's best record (42-12), they have struggled against some of the top teams. They've already lost twice to Sacramento -- which eliminated them in the second round of the playoffs last season -- and once to the Lakers.

    "This was the biggest win because this game has been built up and up,'' Nash said. "I don't think any of us think we shouldn't beat that team.''

    Nowitzki scored 22 points while playing 37 minutes, a day after twisting his ankle in practice. Finley added 19 points for Dallas.

    Rose hit eight of 15 shots, and the reserve keyed another 16-2 run in the second quarter. Parker's 13 points were the most by a San Antonio starter.

    "You have to give credit to the Mavs,'' Parker said. "We knew we were going to lose sometime, but it's still disappointing.''

    Dallas extended its halftime lead by getting the first six points of the third quarter, with Finley, Nash and Nowitzki all scoring to make it 52-43 after Stephen Jackson had two turnovers and a shot blocked.

    After Finley had a slam dunk off Van Exel's inbound pass, the Mavericks led 33-24 with 10:15 left in the second quarter. But then Rose started the first 16-2 run.

    Rose scored eight straight points, starting with an 18-footer and two free throws before following with consecutive 20-footers after rebounding Dallas misses.

    As his 20-footer went in with 7:46 left to get San Antonio within 33-32, Rose let out a scream as he ran past the scorer's table. Emanuel Ginobili drove right down the lane for a layup and the first Spurs lead since the opening minutes of the game.

    By the time Kevin Willis made a reverse layup with 5:13 left, the Spurs had a 40-35 lead. They would be in front for just another 80 seconds.

    Game notes


    It was Nash's eighth double-double of the season, the fourth in seven games. He had 10 points in the first quarter, when the Mavs led 29-19. ... The Mavs placed Adrian Griffin on the injured list because of tendinitis in his left knee. Avery Johnson was activated after missing the last five games with a right calf strain. Johnson didn't play. ... San Antonio is 18-4 since Jan. 1. ... The Spurs had won four straight against the Mavericks.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SA
    DAL
    Points 87 95
    FGM-FGA 31-68 (.456) 37-82 (.451)
    3PM-3PA 6-13 (.462) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 19-27 (.704) 14-19 (.737)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-37 13-47
    Assists 16 19
    Turnovers 18 13
    Steals 7 12
    Blocks 1 6
    Fast Break Points 4 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 25 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Dallas
    Malik Rose Rose
    Points: 25
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 29
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0