Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/26

Game 1: Wednesday, December 26th
Game 2: Saturday, January 5th
Game 3: Thursday, March 21st
Game 4: Saturday, April 6th

Mavericks 126


Spurs 123


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2001

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 27 32 27 30126
    SA 23 35 24 34123

    Top Performers

    Dallas: M. Finley 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

    San Antonio: T. Duncan 53 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Blk

    Nash hits game-winner in last second of OT

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Even a 53-point performance from Tim Duncan couldn't stop the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA's hottest team.

    Tim Duncan


    Tim Duncan's 53 points came on 19-for-28 shooting from the field, plus a perfect 15-for-15 at the line. It's the best single-game point performance in the NBA this season.

    Steve Nash scored 27 points and made a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime as the Mavericks won their seventh consecutive game, defeating the San Antonio Spurs for only the 11th time in their last 50 meetings, 126-123.

    "I really wanted to hit a big shot in overtime and fortunately I got that opportunity," Nash said. "We ran a pick and roll, and when I came off the pick I tried to get the defense off of me and create some space and was just able to get a good look."

    Dallas won despite a career night by Duncan, who scored 28 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also pulled down 11 rebounds.

    "I wish I'd have missed all my shots the way this turned out," said Duncan, who was 19-for-28 from the field and connected on 15 consecutive free throws.

    The 53 points was fourth-most ever scored by a San Antonio player and the most scored in an NBA game this season.

    "They were getting the ball to me and I had to take my shots and the shots were falling. We'll learn from this. We'll get better," Duncan said.

    Michael Finley led the Mavericks with 28 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 26 and Tim Hardaway had 15.

    "We had no answer for Duncan down low tonight," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "Other than that I thought we played pretty well defensively. We were able to withstand many times when it looked like we were going to lose the momentum and drop this one. When your big three are all scoring in the 20's, that can offset a guy scoring fifty-something. But I'm not saying next time he can have 75."

    San Antonio, placed five players in double figures as David Robinson backed Duncan with 13 points.

    "It was a great game," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after watching his team lose its second consecutive game after 10 consecutive victories in the month of December.

    "I was pleased with what they (the Spurs) did and how they executed at both ends of the court. I thought he (Duncan) played great. It's great to see him taking charge. He's telling me what to run some of the times."

    The Mavericks opened the overtime period with consecutive baskets by Nash and Hardaway to take a 120-116 lead.

    San Antonio went back to Duncan, who answered with a 7-0 run of his own to give the Spurs a 123-120 lead on a three-point play with 1:14 to play.

    Hardaway tied the game 123-123 with a 27-foot 3-point field goal with 26.3 seconds remaining.

    "That 3 by Hardaway was huge," Nelson said. "We've seen him do that against us many times in the past. That is what he brings to this team. That is the type of thing that he is capable of doing for you."

    Following a San Antonio turnover, Nash hit the game-winning jump shot. Terry Porter's desperation 3-point field goal was short at the buzzer.

    Leading 86-82 going to the fourth quarter, Dallas was able to maintain its advantage by matching baskets with San Antonio. Nowitzki scored on consecutive three-point plays to give the Mavericks a 97-92 lead with 5:59 to play.

    Duncan scored 13 consecutive points for San Antonio and his driving bank shot brought the Spurs to 106-105 with three minutes remaining.

    Consecutive baskets by Nash gave Dallas a 112-107 lead with 1:45 to play.

    After Juwan Howard connected on four consecutive free throws to give Dallas a 116-111 lead, San Antonio rallied to tie the score on two free throws by Duncan and Porter's 3-point field goal with 5.9 seconds to play.

    The Mavericks led 59-58 at halftime behind 15 points from Nowitzki and 14 from Finley. Duncan kept San Antonio close with 15 points for the Spurs.

    Game notes
    The 126 points was a season-high for the Mavericks ... With the defeat, San Antonio now leads the overall series with Dallas by a 65-44 count, including a 37-18 advantage in San Antonio ... The game matched two of the NBA's top scoring teams, with Dallas entering the game No. 1 with an average of 102.3 points a game and San Antonio is No. 4 at 101.1 ... Duncan's double-double was his 22nd this season and 242nd of his career.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 126 123
    FGM-FGA 47-84 (.560) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 7-15 (.467) 7-18 (.389)
    FTM-FTA 25-29 (.862) 38-41 (.927)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-41 11-37
    Assists 24 16
    Turnovers 21 16
    Steals 7 15
    Blocks 3 8
    Fast Break Points 16 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (1/0) 27 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Michael Finley Finley
    Points: 28
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 53
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3