Rapid Reaction: Spurs 113, Mavs 107
Tony Parker and San Antonio’s role players took care of business in Dallas while the Spurs’ star big man (knee) and coach (sick) rested.
Parker had 23 points and 10 assists despite missing most of the first quarter after requiring three stitches to close several cuts above his left eye. He was especially dominant during the third quarter, scoring seven points and dishing out six assists while the Spurs’ lead swelled to as large as 26 points.
Reserve forward/center DeJuan Blair scored a season-high 22 points in 19 minutes to lead seven Spurs in double figures. Center Tiago Splitter added a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Mavs, sparked by Rodrigue Beaubois’ season-high 19 points, managed to trim San Antonio’s lead to 10 midway through the fourth quarter. The home team didn't get closer until the final minute, when the Mavs went on an 11-0 run to make this game look much more competitive than it really was.
What it means: Four days of rest obviously didn’t do the Mavs much good. Their run of five wins in six games seems like a long time ago after this rout. With the Rockets beating the Hornets, the 18-25 Mavs fell four games back in the battle for the West’s eighth seed. Dallas is 5-17 against opponents who are .500 or better.
Play of the game: After a botched Mavs fast break, the Spurs had a more successful transition possession. Kawhi Leonard hit trailer Boris Diaw, who took a couple of dribbles into the lane, got Dirk Nowitzki to commit to him and delivered a beautiful, behind-the-back feed to Splitter for a reverse layup. The bucket extended the Spurs’ lead to 25 with a little less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Stat of the night: Beaubois had more points in this game than he did during the entire month of December (15).
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