Spurs beat Mavericks 88-83, win third straight
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed, holding on for an 88-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and seven rebounds in his return from a two-game absence due to a mild left ankle sprain.
Tony Parker added 16 points and eight assists for the Spurs, who improved to 12-3 with their third straight win.
Wes Matthews had 15 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 13 for Dallas, which has lost three straight and fell to 9-7.
Devin Harris' 3-pointer cut San Antonio's lead to 84-83 with 33 seconds remaining, but Leonard followed with his own 3 just 18 seconds later. Matthews then missed a 3-pointer and Manu Ginobili went 1 for 4 on free throws to close out the Spurs' eighth straight home victory to open the season.
The Mavericks went on a 21-9 run at the close of the third quarter to tie the game at 58 and again at 60, but could never capture the lead against a balanced Spurs attack.
San Antonio showed its diverse offense early. Aldridge opened the game by sinking an 18-foot jumper over Nowitzki, followed by a pair of 3-pointers from Leonard and then consecutive driving layups by Parker past Raymond Felton. San Antonio had five assists on the six baskets, with every starter getting at least an assist or basket in the opening 4 1/2 minutes.
Dallas could not match the early output, shooting 4 for 17 to open the game.
The second unit rallied the Mavericks with a more physical defense led by J.J. Barea and Justin Anderson.
Mavericks: Barea did not return after spraining his right ankle with 8 minutes left in the game. He was assisted off the court after twisting the ankle while backpedaling defensively. Barea finished with seven points and three assists in 12 minutes. ... Zaza Pachulia had four points and no rebounds, ending his streak of four straight double-doubles. ... Nowitzki missed his only 3-point attempt, keeping him at 1,601 career 3-pointers. He is seven 3-pointers shy of tying Jason Richardson for 17th all-time.
Spurs: David West made his first 3-pointer of the season, kicking his legs out and throwing up a shot with 0.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter. It was the 35-year-old's second 3-point attempt of the season. ... F Matt Bonner, who did not dress, wished the fans in attendance a "Happy Thanksgiving" and stressed, "remember to make sandwiches with the leftovers."
Mavericks: Host Denver on Saturday.
Spurs: At Denver on Friday.