SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker had 23 points hours after the birth of his first child and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed in a 109-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.
Manu Ginobili had 19 points and Tiago Splitter added 17 points and 12 rebounds as San Antonio regained home-court advantage in the tense series against their intrastate rival. Tim Duncan added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard had 15 points for the Spurs.
Vince Carter scored 28 points, making numerous heavily contested shots in going 10 for 16 from the field for Dallas.
After averaging 16 points in the series’ first four games, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki found the stroke in scoring 26 points. Nowitzki was 10-for-20 shooting, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Parker and the Spurs returning to form.
Carter’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pulled Dallas within 98-94 but Parker followed a minute later with his only 3-pointer of the game, punctuating the shot with a loud scream.
Parker had his finest start since the series opener despite playing on little sleep following the early morning birth of his son, Josh, with fiancee Axelle Francine. The All-Star point guard mixed in three manic driving layups and two mid-range jumpers to start the game shooting 5 for 7.
San Antonio took its largest lead of the game at 24-11 6 minutes into the first quarter as Ginobili hit a 3-pointer seconds after entering the game.
The Spurs rediscovered the aggressive defense, long-range shooting and fluid ball movement that fueled them to the league’s best record.
San Antonio was 8 for 16 from 3-point range and had 24 assists while committing just six turnovers.
Ginobili gathered a loose ball in the paint and tossed an outlet to Parker, who found Leonard racing to the basket for a right-handed dunk despite a late foul by Monta Ellis. Leonard missed the ensuing free throw, keeping San Antonio’s lead at 49-44 lead with 3:15 remaining in the first half.
Danny Green hit a 3-pointer to give San Antonio a 67-57 lead with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter after starting a fast break by tipping the ball from behind on a driving Ellis.
Duncan rebounded Parker’s missed jumper over Samuel Dalembert and fed the ball to Splitter, who found Ginobili cutting to the lane for a scoop layup and a 51-46 lead.
Splitter threw a bounce pass into the lane to feed a cutting Parker for a layup with 7 minutes remaining in the game for a 91-81 lead.
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