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After missing the previous six games due to injury, Tony Parker led the San Antonio Spurs with 22 points, seven assists and three rebounds. With his return, the Spurs (43-16) defeated their in-state rival, the Dallas Mavericks (36-25) 112- 106 on Sunday, March 2 at the AT&T Center.

“He looked good; he really looked fresh. He didn’t lose any rhythm; he played a good floor game and delivered offense at the same time. He looked focused and fresh,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich after the game on Parker’s play.

Parker and Manu Ginobili spearheaded the attack for the Spurs in the third quarter, as they combined for a total of 16 points and three assists. The Spurs outscored the Mavericks 30-to-23 in the third quarter, extending their lead to as many as 11-points, the duo continually created shots for their teammates.

“I just try to penetrate and make things happen,” said Parker after the game on his dynamic play. “I want to score and

create shots for my teammates. We’re just happy to be healthy, I can’t remember the last time we had everybody. Right now we need to keep playing well and get ready for the playoffs.”

Ginobili ended the game with 15 points and seven assists, scoring all of his points in the second half. Spurs forward Tim Duncan racked up eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to close out the contest.

Despite the win, the Spurs struggled with turnovers throughout the game, commit- ting a combined 13, 10 of them in the first half.

“That’s been our trouble all year long,” said Popovich commenting on the turnovers. “We get a four-point, six-point, seven-point lead and then get two or three turnovers and it’s a tie game. We’re really our worst enemy sometimes. But in the second half we only had three turnovers and we only gave up one three pointer, so that was a big difference for us.”

Maverick’s all-star Dirk Nowtzki led Dallas with 22 points and seven rebounds. San Anto- nio deployed a three-man rota- tion to guard Nowitzki, but he was still able to score a plethora of points.

“We just try to give him a different look,” Popovich re- marked on the difficulty of guarding Nowitzki. “He’s such a great player; nobody stops him but at least giving him a differ- ent look makes me feel like I’m trying.”

The Spurs have now won three straight games against Dallas this season, with the fourth and final matchup coming on April 10 in Dallas. The Spurs are first in the Southwest Division and second in the Western Conference, while the Mavericks currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference and third in the Southwest Division.

“You have to give a lot of credit to Dallas,” said Parker after the game on the Mavericks’ play. “They’re playing well this year, with Dirk (Nowitzki), Monta (Ellis) and Vince (Carter). They have great pieces; they’re going to be a tough team when they make the playoffs.”

With three consecutive wins, San Antonio will look to continue that trend as they take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Tuesday, the defending champion Miami Heat on Thursday and finish off the week with the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

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