Regular Season Series (Game 4 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

Spurs 89


    4:30 PM ET, April 6, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 22 21 20 2487
    SA 25 28 14 2289

    Top Performers

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 26 Pts, 21 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    SA: T. Duncan 33 Pts, 16 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

    Duncan's final jumper proves final word

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tim Duncan's biggest contribution of the fourth quarter came when it counted most.

    Tim Duncan

    Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

    Tim Duncan, who scored 33 points, puts up the left-handed hook shot over Dirk Nowitzki in the second quarter.

    Duncan's only field goal of the fourth period was an 18-foot jumper over Dirk Nowitzki with two seconds left to lift the San Antonio Spurs to an 89-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in a showdown of Midwest Division leaders.

    The Spurs moved within a half-game of the division-leading Mavericks, and have an easier schedule down the stretch.

    Dallas (52-23) has seven games remaining, five against playoff-bound teams. San Antonio (52-24) has six left, three against teams heading to the postseason.

    Duncan led all scorers with 33 points, but scored just 11 points in the second half. The game-winning shot was his only field goal in the final period.

    "I've been having some really horrible second halves lately," he said. "That shot was huge for me."

    Nowitzki, who finished with 26 points and 21 rebounds, second-guessed his defensive tactics on the final play.

    "I probably should have played him closer and made him drive," he said.

    San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich said the win was a matter of simply hanging on as Dallas charged back from a nine-point deficit in the last three minutes.

    "We were fortunate enough to have the ball last," Popovich said.

    Antonio Daniels scored 13 points for the Spurs. Danny Ferry added 11, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final period, and Bruce Bowen 10. David Robinson had nine points and 13 rebounds.

    Nick Van Exel led Dallas with 27 points, including 19 in the second half, and Michael Finley added 18 points.

    Van Exel questioned the officiating, pointing at the Spurs' 45-19 advantage in foul shots.

    "That big a difference is ridiculous," Van Exel said.

    Just as in the first three meetings between the teams, the outcome was decided at the foul line at the end.

    Van Exel made a running jumper and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw, pulling Dallas within three points, 80-77, with about two minutes left.

    Bowen scored for San Antonio. Van Exel made a 3-pointer that was matched by Ferry, making it 85-80 with 45 seconds left.

    The Mavs failed to score on their next possession, and Bowen was fouled while going for a rebound. He missed both free throws with 30 seconds left.

    Van Exel then made a runner in the lane, cutting San Antonio's lead to three. Tony Parker was fouled on the inbounds play and converted one free throw for the Spurs.

    On Dallas' next trip down, Van Exel was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. He made all three at the line with 15 seconds left as the Mavericks closed within 86-85.

    Duncan made one of two free throws and Nowitzki hit a jumper that tied the score at 87 with eight seconds remaining before Duncan hit the game-winner.

    Mavericks point guard Steve Nash, who is averaging 19 points and eight assists, left the game at halftime with a stomach ailment. He was scoreless with two assists in 18 minutes.

    The Spurs made their first four shots in jumping out to a 8-0 lead before Nowitzki hit a turnaround jumper at 9:59 for Dallas' first points.

    San Antonio's defensive pressure proved troublesome for the Mavs early. But Finley pulled Dallas within one, 23-22, late in the first by scoring 12 points in less than five minutes.

    Dallas went ahead 31-29 a runner by Van Exel before Daniels took over. He scored 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting in the quarter and the Spurs used a 16-6 run to build a 10-point advantage by the break.

    Duncan secured his league-leading 62nd double-double of the season early with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

    Game notes

    In the first three San Antonio-Dallas games each team scored more than 100 points, and the games were decided by a total of eight points. ... San Antonio has won 10 straight at the Alamodome. ... Mavs' starting forward Adrian Griffin did not dress due to a right ankle sprain sustained in Thursday's win over the Clippers. ... Saturday's attendance was 34,739, the sixth time this season the Spurs have played in front of a crowd of 30,000 or more.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 89
    FGM-FGA 35-82 (.427) 29-68 (.426)
    3PM-3PA 5-22 (.227) 4-10 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 12-19 (.632) 27-45 (.600)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-41 11-46
    Assists 12 16
    Turnovers 14 13
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 2 5
    Fast Break Points 5 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (3/0) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 26
    Reb: 21
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 33
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 3