Spurs beat Mavs to clinch playoff spot
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AFP) –
Tim Duncan finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs clinched a playoff spot by edging the Dallas Mavericks 92-91.
Duncan made the most of his return to the lineup as he missed the Spurs’ 107-83 loss on Tuesday to struggling Minnesota with a sore knee.
Gary Neal added 16 points and Kawhi Leonard, who also sat during Tuesday’s loss, had 12 along with six rebounds for San Antonio, who earned a playoff spot for the 16th straight season.
Dallas came into the game having matched a season high with four consecutive victories. They appeared to be poised to add their fifth after scoring seven unanswered points to pull within 92-91 in the closing seconds.
The Mavericks got the ball back with a chance to score, but Vince Carter’s three-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, with Darren Collison scoring 12 points in the loss.