NBA News Wire

Spurs 109, Mavericks 103

SAN ANTONIO — Every time the Dallas Mavericks tried to make a push Tuesday, Tiago Splitter offered resistance.

The San Antonio center produced nine points, six rebounds and four assists in the fourth quarter alone, helping the Spurs defeat the Dallas Mavericks 109-103 Wednesday to take a three-games-to-two lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

The Spurs can close out the series Friday in Dallas.

Splitter finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Guard Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23 points. He made a 3-point shot with 1:52 left in the game and assisted on a basket by forward Tim Duncan with 47 seconds remaining that helped San Antonio seal the win.

Duncan finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili scored 19, four more than forward Kawhi Leonard.

Reserve guard Vince Carter was spectacular for Dallas, scoring a game-high 28 points and converting seven of nine 3-point attempts.

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, and he grabbed 15 rebounds in the game. He reach the 20-point mark for the first time in the series.

Dallas guard Monta Ellis scored 21.

San Antonio led 58-49 at halftime after forging ahead by 13 points early in the game, then watching Dallas shoot its way into a tie with 3-pointers.

Parker’s mildly sprained left ankle proved to be a non-issue. He scored 10 of San Antonio’s first 21 points, making three baskets on nifty drives to the basket and two on pull-up jump shots.

San Antonio converted 10 of its first 13 shots. Then the Spurs missed six straight, right about the time that Dallas began heating up.

Carter scored 14 in the first half, hitting three of four 3-point shots and making an incredibly athletic fall-away shot from just inside the arc.

Carter’s 3-pointer tied the game at 42 with 6:39 remaining in the half, but the Spurs created some separation starting with five straight points by Duncan.

The 6-foot-6 Carter kept Dallas in the game during the third quarter as well. He made all three of his shots in the period, including two 3-pointers, for eight points. His 27-foot 3-pointer with 1:29 remaining left the Mavs trailing by just six, but a layup by Duncan gave San Antonio an eight-point edge going into the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Dallas reserve F DeJuan Blair was suspended for Game 5 for kicking San Antonio C Tiago Splitter in the head while they were on the ground during Game 4. … The Mavericks ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency during the regular season, but through the first four games of the playoff series, they limited San Antonio to an average of 95.8 points, nearly 10 fewer than the Spurs averaged during the season. A big reason: Dallas forced San Antonio into more one-on-one offense, limiting the Spurs to 18 assists per game, down from 25 in the regular season. … The Spurs on Monday became the first NBA team this season to win a playoff game when its reserves outscored the starters, according to Basketball Insiders. The subs scored 50, the starters 43 during the 93-89 victory. … Reserve F Austin Daye was inactive for the Spurs.