Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Spurs lose their way against Mavs

SMOOTH The NBA champs couldn't match the pace of Dallas, which scored 46 points in the third period and improved to 3-0 against the Spurs

AP , Dallas

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki celebrates a three-point shot against the San Antonio Spurs during second half action at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.


Michael Finley opened the third quarter with a dunk and closed it with a swish from behind the halfcourt stripe, perfect bookends for a 46-point period that the Dallas Mavericks rode to a 115-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

"I told the team before the game it was going to be a playoff atmosphere, so let's have a playoff attitude," said Finley, who had 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-7 on 3-pointers.

Dirk Nowitzki added 23, helping the Mavs win their fourth straight and improve their league-best home record to 26-4.

The Spurs endured their biggest blowout loss of the season and lost two-time Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan for most of the second half because of a bruised thigh.

"He's got some sort of thigh contusion," coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's probably going to miss a little bit of time."

Duncan had 22 points and 17 rebounds in 25 minutes when he went to the bench with 7:15 left in the third quarter.

Dallas improved to 3-0 against San Antonio this season, clinching the season series -- which could matter if the teams end the season with identical records.

Wizards 95, Bulls 87

In Washington, one night after staging a mini-mutiny on offense, Gilbert Arenas had his second career triple-double to lead Washington over Chicago.

Arenas set aside five days of drama to score 21 points, grab 12 rebounds and hand out 13 assists as the Wizards completed rare back-to-back victories.

On Wednesday, Arenas didn't attempt a shot until 5:30 remained in a two-point victory at Toronto -- and that was only after coach Eddie Jordan threatened to bench him. Arenas has been smarting from comments made Sunday by teammate Kwame Brown, who accused an unnamed teammate of being too selfish with the ball. Arenas responded by criticizing Brown's play.

Arenas' 12 rebounds matched a career-high, while the 13 assists were a season-high.

Kings 103, Lakers 101

In Los Angeles, Mike Bibby made two 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds to cap a 31-point performance as Sacramento edged Los Angeles.

Peja Stojakovic had 37 points and nine rebounds as the Kings won their fourth straight and eighth in nine games despite playing shorthanded. Bibby also had eight rebounds and seven assists.

Kobe Bryant's 3-pointer with 37.8 seconds left drew the Lakers within two points.

After Bibby missed a 3-pointer, the Lakers elected not to call timeout. Bryant used a screen from Shaquille O'Neal to get open, but his 25-footer was short. Bibby rebounded and dribbled out the clock.

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