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Spurs topple Mavericks in battle of Texas

Michael Finley scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter against his former team, and the Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks, 98-89, last night in San Antonio in a matchup of the top teams in the Western Conference.

The Spurs leapfrogged the Mavericks to the top spot in the West. The teams have identical 45-12 records, but San Antonio holds a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head play.

The win was also the 500th for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who took over the team during the 1996-97 season.

San Antonio led by 4 after three quarters, but extended that lead by shooting 11 for 19 in the fourth. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 23 points and Tim Duncan scored 15.

Cavaliers 92, Bulls 91 -- Ronald Murray made a 3-pointer from the right side with 3.9 seconds remaining and Cleveland escaped with a victory over host Chicago after blowing a 25-point lead. Murray, acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers snapped a five-game losing streak.

The Bulls had one final shot to win it, but Andres Nocioni missed a jumper at the buzzer.

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