How it happened: San Antonio’s Tony Parker took over in the third quarter, eliminating the Mavs’ minuscule chances of pulling off a road comeback.
Parker scored 14 of his 25 points in the third quarter, when he hit all six of his shots from the floor and had a couple assists. The Spurs scored 35 points on 12-of-15 shooting in the frame, turning the game into a blowout.
The San Antonio starters watched the fourth quarter from the bench.
The Spurs also got 16 points and 13 rebounds from Tim Duncan, who had half of his points in the third quarter.
Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting, and Vince Carter added 14 points off the bench. Otherwise, this was an absolutely dreadful offensive night for Dallas, which didn't have any other players score in double figures.
The Mavs shot only 41.9 percent from the floor. Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-low eight points, matching his worst shooting night of the season -- 3-of-14 from the floor. Jose Calderon was even worse, scoring only five points on 2-of-11 shooting.
What it means: The Mavs have lost seven straight games against the Spurs. That’s their longest losing streak in the series since dropping nine straight in a stretch spanning 1996-99. At this rate, there’s a reasonable chance that the Mavs will meet the Spurs in the playoffs. Dallas fell to 20-16 with its third loss in four games and remains in eighth place in the Western Conference standings. The Spurs improved to 28-8, giving them the West’s best record by a half-game.
Play of the game: There was a vintage Vinsanity moment late in the first half. Carter blew by Marco Belinelli and soared over Duncan to throw down a one-hand tomahawk dunk. It’s the kind of play that used to be routine for Carter, one of the best dunkers in NBA history, but is rare for any 36-year-old. And it was a rare highlight for the Mavs in this game.
Stat of the night: Nowitzki got his 1,000th career steal in the third quarter. That makes him part of an exclusive club of players who recorded at least 25,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 steals, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Garnett.