Dallas Mavericks guard Darren Collison (4) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9), of France, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
Sunday, December 30, 2012 9:59 pm
Big 3 help Spurs send Mavs to sixth straight loss
By SCHUYLER DIXONAP Sports Writer
Dirk Nowitzki had eight points on 3-of-9 shooting a week after making a surprise return in a 38-point loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.
The Spurs led all the way, with Tim Duncan helping a 20-6 start by hitting several jump shots. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Darren Collison scored 18 points to lead the Mavericks, whose losing streak is their longest since January of their championship season in 2010-11.
Dallas was within five in the third quarter when Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down, and he made an even longer 3 with the shot clock inside a second to put San Antonio ahead 80-70. He finished the third quarter the same way he did the second - with a last-second shot that put the Spurs up by 12.
Nowitzki struggled again a week after making his season debut at San Antonio. It was his third game in four nights, and he was limited to 17 minutes Friday against Denver, the second of back-to-back games. He missed his first three shots of the second half before finally hitting a driving layup to get Dallas within six.
Ginobili keyed a late spurt in the first half that turned a five-point lead into a 12-point halftime edge. He assisted on a 3-pointer by Kawhi Leonard and scored the final two baskets of the half, the last a pull-up jumper with less than a second left for a 57-45 lead.
The Spurs ran out to a 20-6 lead on midrange jumpers from Tony Parker, who scored 10 in the first quarter, and a couple of 3-pointers from Danny Green, who had a career-high seven from long range against Dallas a week ago. Green finished with eight points and was 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
The Mavericks closed the gap late in the first behind Elton Brand, who scored six in the first quarter after going scoreless for the second time this season two nights earlier against Denver. Brand scored 14 points in this one.
O.J. Mayo, Dallas' leading scorer, was held under 10 points for the fourth time in five games. He came in averaging 9 points on 33-percent shooting the previous four games and finished with eight on 4 of 14 shooting. Green blocked two of his 3-point attempts in the second half, including one after Mayo tried a pump fake that instead just gave Green enough time to get there before Mayo shot it.
NOTES: Mavericks F Vince Carter made his first start after coming off the bench the first 30 games. ... Spurs G Gary Neal missed his third straight game with a strained right calf. ... Mayo had a career-high five steals in Friday's loss to Denver. But he also had six turnovers for the third straight game. ... Green was 14 of 19 from 3-point range the previous three games. He was 7 of 8 when the Spurs set a franchise record with 20 3-pointers a week ago against Dallas. ... Oklahoma football players drew some boos when they were shown on the big board. The Sooners play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on Jan. 4. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M attended a Mavs game a few days after winning the award.