Tim Duncan bounced back from one of the least productive games of his career to score 17 points and reserve Gary Neal had 21, sending the San Antonio Spurs to a 99-93 victory over the Mavericks last night at Dallas in a showdown between the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Dirk Nowitzki missed his second straight game because of a sprained knee ligament and the Mavericks have lost both. Dallas had won 17 of 18 with its leading scorer.
San Antonio won for the 12th time in 14 games and improved to 28-4, extending the best start in franchise history. Coming off a thorough victory over the Lakers, the Spurs got behind in the opening minutes, then went on a 21-2 run that started late in the first quarter to go ahead for good.
Dallas’s Caron Butler had a season-high 30 points .
Stoudemire finished with 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists but got into foul trouble early in a matchup of two of the NBA’s best big men. Both were called for technical fouls, never shied away from contact, and showed more offensive prowess than defensive pressure.
Trail Blazers 100, Jazz 89 — Wesley Matthews tied a career high with 30 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 27 for host Portland.
Deron Williams had 19 points and eight assists for Utah, Paul Millsap added 17 points, and Al Jefferson had 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Jazz lost to Portland for the second time this week.