Spurs Edge Mavericks 103-102
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:DNA102-032102; AUDIO:%)
DALLAS (AP) _ It looks like the Midwest Division is going to be decided like a game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks _ at the last possible second.
Tony Parker hit a long jumper with 25.4 seconds left, then it took five free throws in the final 14.5 seconds for San Antonio to hold off Dallas 105-102 Thursday night, giving the Spurs their 11th straight victory and tying the Mavericks for the division lead.
Tim Duncan scored the final two of his 32 points from the foul line with 1.3 seconds left. On Dallas’ last-gasp effort, Steve Nash caught a pass beyond midcourt but was only able to hurl the ball into the lane because of tight pressure from Malik Rose.
Rose threw up his arms in victory and smiled toward coach Gregg Popovich, while Nash _ who had 28 points and was the catalyst of a third-quarter rally _ walked away with his hands on his hips.
This was the third meeting of the season between the Interstate 35 rivals and all have been decided in the closing seconds, each time by the road team. Each game helps build intensity in a rivalry that started heating up in last season’s playoffs, when San Antonio knocked Dallas out of the second round in five games.