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                    === Carter's 3 sends Mavs past Spurs ===
 
 Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Vince Carter let his right hand dangle in the
 air as the ball passed through the rim, hitting nothing but net.
 
 Monta  Ellis kept the Dallas Mavericks in the game, but it was the 37-year-old
 Carter who won it.
 
 Carter's 3-pointer at the buzzer Saturday gave the Mavericks a 109-108 victory
 over  the San  Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of their first-round Western Conference
 playoff series.
 
 Catching an inbound pass from Jose Calderon on the left sideline, Carter pump-
 faked  Manu  Ginobili in  the corner and  let the  shot fly as  he fell out of
 bounds.
 
 After  it  went in, Carter  stomped on the court  and was mobbed by teammates.
 Dirk Nowitzki put him in a headlock. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban rushed to give
 him a hug.
 
 This  is what it looks like when a No. 8 seed takes a 2-1 series lead over the
 best team in the NBA.
 
 "Sometimes  you  need something  like that,"  said Calderon.  "I think we were
 fighting  so  hard for 48  minutes against a really  good team. Coming up with
 that great shot at the end -- it feels great."
 
 The  Mavericks, who have  won two in a row in the best-of-seven set, will host
 Game 4 on Monday.
 
 Carter's  game-winner came after Ginobili's running bank shot gave the Spurs a
 two-point lead with 1.7 seconds remaining.
 
 "Vince  made a shot.  Manu guarded him, he did it well and Vince made a shot,"
 said  Spurs coach  Gregg Popovich. "Give him credit. There was no breakdown or
 anything like that. Manu was right there and he did everything he could. Vince
 knocked it down."
 
 Ellis  led Dallas  with 29 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Without
 him, the Mavericks wouldn't have had much of a chance.
 
 The  guard hit a 3-pointer to give Dallas a lead with 6 1/2 minutes left, then
 a jumper the next time down the court. Later, another jumper cut San Antonio's
 lead  to one. His three-point play after he was fouled on a baseline shot tied
 the score at 102-102 with 70 seconds remaining.
 
 Nowitzki  scored 18 points, Calderon had 16 and Samuel Dalembert had 13 points
 and  10  rebounds, hitting a pair  of free throws  that tied the score with 42
 seconds left.
 
 Boris  Diaw knocked down  a baseline jumper at the other end for the Spurs but
 Ellis  came  through for the  Mavericks again, tying  the game with 24.9 ticks
 remaining on a one-handed runner.
 
 Ginobili drove around Shawn Marion at the other end and made his go-ahead bank
 shot  over Dalembert.  He had 12 points  off the bench for the Spurs, who were
 led by Tim Duncan's 22 points.
 
 Tony  Parker  added 19 points  in the loss, Kawhi  Leonard scored 17 and Tiago
 Splitter chipped in 14 points and 13 rebounds.
 
 "I  think  we did  enough," said Parker.  "We played good  defense. We shot 54
 percent  on the road; that's great. We moved the ball and got a lot of assists
 and  lost  on a shot like  that. That's basketball.  You just have to keep the
 morale good in the locker room and come back on strong on Monday."
 
 Parker  had 12 points in the first quarter, including a jumper to cap an early
 8-0  run that tied the game. The Spurs shot 64 percent in the quarter and were
 up 34-27 going into the second.
 
 The  Mavericks, down as  many as nine, closed the first half with a 14-5 burst
 punctuated  by back-to-back  3-pointers from Marion, one from each side of the
 court, to take a 59-54 advantage into the break. They led 77-74 going into the
 fourth quarter.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Devin  Harris scored  three points after leading the Mavericks with 37 through
 the  first  two games ...  The Spurs shot 54.3  percent and the Mavericks 51.2
 percent  ... The Spurs tightened up. After committing 24 turnovers in a Game 2
 loss  on Wednesday, leading to 33 Dallas points, they gave it away 15 times on
 Saturday.
 
 
 04/26 22:46:09 ET