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Tim Duncan puts San Antonio up 1-0 over Dallas

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38-year old Tim Duncan scored a game-high 27 points and helped the Western Conference top-seed San Antonio Spurs overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 90-85 on April 20. The Mavericks missed 12-of-their-last 13 shots and scored just four points after Brendan Wright converted a three-point play with 7:45 remaining in the game.

Tony Parker had 21 points and Manu Ginobili added 17 for the Spurs, who defeated the Mavericks for the 10th straight time. Kawhi Leonard added 11 points and 10 rebounds while Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds.

Devin Harris had a tremendous game off the bench for Dallas, which almost pulled off a huge upset. The Mavericks bench outscored the NBA’s top-bench 46-23 as Vince Carter (10) and Wright also reached double-figures off the bench.

Duncan, who left the game in the third quarter after hitting knees with a Monte Ellis in the third quarter, scored seven points during the Spurs 15-0 run to help San Antonio regain the lead 85-81 with 2:16 left.

San Antonio, the best three-point shooting team in the NBA, made just 3-of-17 from long-range and shot 43.2 percent from the field. However, the Spurs outscored the Mavericks 56-32 in the paint and outrebounded them 48-40. San Antonio also held Dirk Nowitzki to only 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting, while Dallas shot just 41.2 percent from the field.

MVP: Tim Duncan. While Parker carried the Spurs early, scoring 17 first half points on 7-of-10 shooting, it was the play of Duncan that got the team the win. Duncan scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half, including seven during San Antonio’s key fourth quarter run. Duncan finished 12-of-20 from the field and added seven rebounds.

An even more telling stat, the Spurs went 3-17 from the field Sunday when Duncan was off the court, including 2-12 during his stretch on the bench following a knee injury. Why were the Spurs so ineffective? 67% of the team's FGA attempts were in the paint with Duncan on the floor but only 29% were in the paint with Duncan off the floor, going only 1-5 on those attempts

Notes: The Mavericks scored 12 points in the 1st quarter Sunday. That's tied for the Mavericks lowest point total in any quarter this season (done twice previously). The Spurs outscored the Mavericks 32-16 inside the paint in the 1st half, with Parker (7-8, 14 points) nearly matching the Mavs himself. However, the Spurs were only 3-18 outside the paint (16.7%).

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