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(Friday, January 25th)
Final Score: San Antonio 113, Dallas 107
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Tony Parker didn't let three stitches above his left eye get in the way of a productive night, as the All-Star point guard totaled 23 points and 10 assists in leading the San Antonio Spurs over the Dallas Mavericks, 113-107, for their seventh straight win.
DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal chipped in 22 and 18 points, respectively, off the bench for San Antonio, which was without future Hall of Famers Tim Duncan and head coach Gregg Popovich for the second straight game.
Rodrigue Beaubois led the Mavericks with 19 points, while Vince Carter added 17 in defeat. Dallas reached the century mark for the seventh straight game, but couldn't overcome the Spurs' balanced attack.
Neal came off the bench earlier than normal after Parker took an elbow to the eye, and made a 3-pointer while being fouled with 4:13 left in the opening quarter.
"If somebody is down then somebody else is going to step up," said Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer. "They all have a lot of confidence, and they know we have confidence in them, and Gary [Neal] came in and stepped up."
The four-point play highlighted a 13-4 run that stretched San Antonio's lead to 23-12 late in the first quarter, and its was a 27-20 game heading to the second.
Parker returned before halftime with three stitches in his eyebrow, and the Spurs built on their 53-43 halftime lead by scoring 21 of the first 27 points in the third quarter.
Tiago Splitter recorded a three-point play during the run, then ended it with a reverse layup for a commanding 74-49 cushion with seven minutes left in the frame.
The margin was 88-68 heading into the fourth quarter, and an 11-0 run by the Mavs in the last minute made the final score a lot closer than it appeared.
"We were attacking at the end there, but by that time it was too late," said Mavs forward Shawn Marion, who scored just two points.
Duncan is still being bothered by a sore left knee, while Popovich remains ill ... The Spurs won the first two meetings between the teams this season by a combined score of 240-177 ... Splitter finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds ... Dirk Nowitzki netted 15 points in defeat.
01/25 23:40:07 ET