The AP reports: During a timeout early in the third quarter, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the rest of the San Antonio Spurs starters headed to the bench. They never returned. Humiliated since the opening tip, coach Gregg Popovich decided Game 3 of a first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks was a lost cause. Instead of hurting the Spurs with hard fouls—like Mavs center Erick Dampier threatened to do—Dallas slapped around San Antonio with tight defense, the return of Dirk Nowitzki’s shooting touch and the energy of their home crowd, producing an 88-67 victory Thursday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series… The Spurs’ backups weren’t much better, resulting in their fewest points ever in a playoff game.
InsideHoops.com notes: Dallas shot 47.2%, San Antonio just 32.1% and hit a disgustingly awful 2-of-17 three-pointers. Dallas had more rebounds, and double the assists San Antonio did… For the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki (8-of-12) had 20 points and 7 rebounds, Josh Howard (6-of-12) had 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks… For the Spurs, Tony Parker shot just 5-of-14 for 12 points and not much else. Francisco Oberto had 10 off the bench. No other Spurs even reached double digits. Tim Duncan shot 2-of-9 and did nothing.