SAN ANTONIO --Tony Parker scored 23 points Wednesday night to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 109-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at the AT&T Center in Game 5 of a first-round playoff series..
The Spurs now lead this best-of-seven series 3-2.
Game 6 will be Friday night in Dallas, which the Mavs must win in order to force a Game 7 back in San Antonio on Sunday.
Besides Parker, the Spurs got 18 points and five assists from Manu Ginobili, 17 points and 12 rebounds from Tiago Splitter, 16 points and 12 boards from Tim Duncan, and 15 points and eight rebounds from Kawhi Leonard.
Vince Carter paced the Mavs with a game-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shots, including 7-of-9 buckets from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, Dirk Nowitzki snapped out of his shooting slump by reaching the 20-point plateau for the first time of the series. Nowitzki fired in 26 points (on 10-of-20 shots) and also grabbed 14 rebounds.
In addition, Monta Ellis popped in 21 points and handed out six assists for Dallas.
Ellis tossed in a pair of free throws with 1:04 to get the Mavs within 101-96 of San Antonio. But the Spurs got a bucket inside the paint from Tim Duncan to go up 103-96 with 47.8 seconds left, and then closed the game with six free throws following intentional fouls by the Mavs..
Nowitzki, who scored 14 of his points in the fourht period, got the Mavs within 98-94, then missed a jumper form the left corenr which could have closed the gap to two points with 2:14 remaining.
The Spurs took a 79-71 lead into the fourth quarter with 22 points by Carter at the time being the only thing which kept the Mavs in the game.
San Antonio used a 17-4 run to go up 21-8. But Dallas fought back and employed a 29-16 run to tie things at 37-all with 7:40 remaining before halftime.
Devin Harris and Carter supplied the punches that got the Mavs back in the game. Carter tallied 14 of his points in the first half, while Harris had eight points and five rebounds in the opening two periods.
Also in the first half, Nowitzki had 10 points on 3-of-9 shots,
Parker, diagonosed with a Grade 1 sprain of his left ankle, played like he didn't have any issues at all. The speedy point guard had eight early points as the Spurs blew out to a 21-8 lead.
The Spurs led shot 52.3 percent to 40.5 percent for the Mavs in leading at the half, 58-49. Ginobili had 12 points for the Spurs in the opening half, Leonard had 11 and Parker 10.
After the game was tied 42-42 with 6:39 left in the second quarter following a 3-point basket by Carter, San Antonio ended the first half on a 16-7 run. The Mavs missed their last nine shots of the second period.
-- Dwain Price
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