The Spurs were just a day removed from a home whipping at the
hands of the Houston Rockets that coach Gregg Popovich termed
"embarrassing," while Green was recently demoted from the starting
lineup. He may be close to earning his job back.
Green had a perfect shooting outing on his way to 22 points. He
knocked down every one of his seven attempts from the floor,
including five 3-pointers, and all three free throws.
"Danny Green was on fire," Popovich said.
The Spurs (23-7) took the first meeting of the season between the
Southwest Division foes and extended their winning streak in the
series to six straight. The Mavericks (16-13) lost for the third
time in four games.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and guard
Tony Parker scored 23. San Antonio center Tiago Splitter had 12
points and six boards.
"We're very happy to win the game," Popovich said. "Any win in the
NBA is a good win. When you do it on the road on a back-to-back
against a good team, it feels even better. We're thrilled to get out
of here with a win."
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 25, guard Monta Ellis added 23,
and center DeJuan Blair had 14 points and 11 rebounds against his
old team. Swingman Vince Carter chipped in 20 points off the bench.
The Spurs were up 100-85 before Dallas ripped off 12 consecutive
points to make it a game with four minutes left. San Antonio
protected the lead by going to Duncan on the block on three
Duncan scored on the first two before dishing the third out to Green
in the corner. The fifth-year pro drained a 3-pointer that gave the
Spurs a six-point cushion.
"Danny shot the ball well," Parker said. "We found him tonight."
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle wasn't pleased with his team's overall
execution and focus.
"When you play San Antonio, you have to be really precise with your
offense and your defense," he said. "We just had little slippages
here and there. Their team has been together a long time, they're
highly skilled, they have a lot of guys that are great players, and
they took advantage of it.
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"We basically had to pitch a shutout in the last four minutes, and
we had a chance to do it, but we just had a couple of mistakes that
San Antonio improved its league-best road record to 13-3 while
dropping Dallas to 11-4 at home. The Spurs are 7-2 on the second
night of back-to-back sets.
Dallas should have been the more energetic club, having been off
since Monday's road win at Houston. However, the Mavericks spent
most of the night playing from behind.
"We just couldn't get over the hump," Dallas forward Shawn Marion
said. "We got close quite a few times, and then we would do
something to mess up ourselves. We stop a run or get a turnover or
something. All of us have some blame in this."
San Antonio went into the halftime locker room up 58-51 behind 27
combined points from Duncan and Green. Nowitzki scored 12 first-half
The Spurs took their first double-digit lead (32-22) early in the
second on guard Patty Mills' 3-pointer from the corner. Carlisle
called two timeouts in the first four minutes of the quarter in an
effort to stem San Antonio's momentum.
The Mavericks made a push early in the third quarter to get within
two points, only to have San Antonio answer behind Splitter. The
Spurs went into the final 12 minutes leading 84-77.
NOTES: Dallas backup C Brandan Wright (illness) was out. Mavericks C
Samuel Dalembert also was battling an illness, but he played 24
minutes and scored eight points. ... Spurs C Tiago Splitter
(hamstring) started despite being a game-time decision. ... Dallas C
DeJuan Blair squared off against his former team for the first time.
Blair spent his first four NBA seasons with San Antonio. ... Spurs G
Marco Belinelli began the night second in the NBA in 3-point
shooting at 50.5 percent, but he missed all three 3-point attempts
against Dallas. "He plays old-school basketball and I enjoy that,"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If I could get him to play some
defense, that would be even better." Dallas G Jose Calderon was
third in long-range shooting at 48.4 percent before Thursday, and he
went 3-for-4 against the Spurs. ... San Antonio's bench averages a
league-best 46.2 points per game. "Their main three guys are Hall of
Famers, and the rest of the guys are great system players," Dallas
coach Rick Carlisle said.
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