Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Saturday, November 5th
Spurs84Final
Mavericks103
Game 2: Thursday, December 1st
Spurs92Final
Mavericks90
Game 3: Thursday, March 2nd
Mavericks89Final
Spurs98
Game 4: Friday, April 7th
Mavericks92Final
Spurs86

Mavericks 92

(57-19, 25-13 away)

Spurs 86

(58-18, 31-6 home)

Coverage: KENS

7:00 PM ET, April 7, 2006

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 26 25 20 2192
SA 27 26 12 2186

Top Performers

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

San Antonio: M. Ginobili 22 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

Dirk's 30 leads Mavs past Spurs in West showdown

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki's big second half moved the Dallas Mavericks closer to first place in the Western Conference.

Nowitzki scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half to lead the Mavericks over the Spurs 92-86 in a showdown of the top two teams in the Western Conference on Friday night.

"Obviously, the difference in the game was Dirk," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He put on an MVP performance. We just couldn't stop him. He took it away."

The Mavericks (57-19) cut the Spurs' lead to one game in the Southwest Division with both teams having six games left to play.

At stake is the top seed in the Western Conference with the team that finishes second getting the No. 4 seed.

"No question, this was a big win for us," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "I thought we showed a lot of mental toughness."

Nowitzki started the game shooting 2-for-9. But he went 7-for-10 during an 18-minute stretch that saw the Mavericks erase an 11-point deficit midway through the second quarter and build a 6-point lead starting the fourth quarter.

"They did a good job on him early, but as the game went on we found ways to get him some shots," Mavericks guard Jerry Stackhouse said. "Josh Howard kept us afloat and then Dirk was huge in the second half and down the stretch."

Howard scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half for the Mavericks.

The Mavericks and Spurs split the season series, which is the first tiebreaker.

Dallas has a half-game lead in the second tiebreaker, which is won-loss record in the Southwest Division.

If it goes to a third tiebreaker, San Antonio has 2½-game lead in won-loss record in the West.

Manu Ginobili led San Antonio (58-18) with 22 points.

The Mavericks limited Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, the Spurs' top scorers, to a combined 10-for-30 shooting. Duncan scored 13 points in 38 minutes and Parker had 10 points and three assists in 31 minutes.

"The looks were there," Duncan said. "Tony (Parker) and I both had an off night, and they capitalized."

Dallas shot 51 percent from the field and held San Antonio to just 38 percent shooting.

"Whenever you allow a team like Dallas to shoot more than 50 percent, things aren't good for you," said Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, who had the assignment guarding Nowitzki.

Dallas jumped out to a 63-59 lead 5:52 into the second half. Nowitzki scored 12 points in the third quarter, going 5-for-6 from the field and added two free throws.

The Mavericks led 71-65 at the end of the third quarter. The teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter with the Spurs cutting the lead to three when Parker scored on a drive with 1:42 left in the game. But the Mavericks kept the Spurs scoreless the rest of the way when Ginobili and Bowen missed shots and Duncan was called for traveling.

Just as they had in their previous meeting 36 days earlier when the Mavericks pulled out to a quick lead, Dallas gained an early advantage again when Howard scored 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting in the first quarter.

With Howard on the bench for the opening 6:39 of the second quarter and Nowitzki struggling with his shot -- he missed 7 of 9 shots to start the game -- San Antonio went on a 14-2 run to built an 11-point lead.

Game notes


Spurs forward Robert Horry, who scored 12 points in 18 minutes in the previous meeting between the teams, missed Friday's game due to a death in the family. ... San Antonio also missed a chance to cut into Detroit's lead for the best record in the league. The Pistons lost 89-87 at Orlando on Friday, which keeps them three games ahead of San Antonio for the top record.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DAL
SA
Points 92 86
FGM-FGA 36-70 (.514) 31-82 (.378)
3PM-3PA 3-7 (.429) 10-20 (.500)
FTM-FTA 17-22 (.773) 14-21 (.667)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-34 14-40
Assists 13 18
Turnovers 9 12
Steals 6 2
Blocks 8 6
Fast Break Points 8 16
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (3/0) 17 (2/0)
Largest Lead 7 11

Top Performers

Dallas
San Antonio
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 30
Reb: 10
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Manu Ginobili Ginobili
Points: 22
Reb: 3
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 1