San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Manu Ginobili suffered a broken nose, but scored 11 of his 15 points in the last quarter, and the Spurs beat Dallas, 94-90, in a rough battle to take the lead after three games in their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Tim Duncan poured in 25 points and Tony Parker added 23 for San Antonio, which also received 17 points from George Hill.
Ginobili, who was hurt in the third quarter after being elbowed by Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, returned and played with a bandage over his nose. He sank 7-of-8 foul shots and also had seven assists as the Spurs won despite missing all seven of their three-point shots. Ginobili is expected to have a CT scan on Saturday.
"He's a great player and has been a great player for a very long time," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If Dirk had gotten hurt or Jason Kidd, people like that who are the ultimate competitors, they play unless they just can't do it. Manu is one of those."
The Texas tussle turned into a physical pounding between the teams, but the seventh-seeded Spurs won the battle to take the 2-1 series lead. Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday night, again in San Antonio.
Nowitzki scored 35, but the Mavericks couldn't contain Parker and Ginobili in the final quarter. The duo combined for 20 points in the final 12 minutes.
Mavericks guard Caron Butler had two points in the first half, but wasn't inserted in the game over the final two quarters.
"We were just going with the group that was going good, we needed penetration," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
Nowitzki's jumper gave the Mavericks an 81-80 edge with 3:03 remaining, but the Spurs scored the next eight. Parker ran off a personal 6-0 spurt to give the Spurs the lead for good. After Parker's first jumper in the stretch, Jose Barea was called for traveling. Duncan then found Parker for a left corner jumper.
Jason Terry's drive to the hoop was blocked by Antonio McDyess, and that resulted in Parker's long jumper from the left side for an 86-81 cushion with 51.6 seconds left.
Nowitzki missed a shot at the other end and Ginobili sank two free throws to end San Antonio's eight-point run. The Mavericks never made it a one- possession game after that juncture.
"He took the game over for a stretch there," Duncan said of Ginobili. "They made a run, they made some shots. They played zone for a little while and got us out of our stuff. We gave Manu the ball and he took it upon himself to kind of take over the game."
Ginobili suffered his injury 2:13 into the third quarter. Nowitzki drove to the hoop and Ginobili tried to reach in and steal the ball. Instead, Nowitzki's elbow caught Ginobili across the nose, which shifted and was then bleeding profusely from the inside.
"I had no doubts he'd be back. He's got a very strong nose on him," Duncan said. "I think it'd take him a second and he'd be right back."
It took only five minutes of game time for Ginobili to return, but by that time the Mavs were involved in a huge turnaround. The 19-2 spurt by the Mavericks moved them to a 68-59 advantage. J.J. Barea capped the burst with a driving layup with 3:08 left in the third. Dallas went to the fourth with a 70-66 edge.
"We were able to speed the game up and got some good looks in transition," Nowitzki said. "In a half-court set they really seem to take our options away."
The Spurs gave up the first four points of the game, but then scored the next 12 and held a 23-16 lead after the opening quarter. They were up 47-44 at the half.
The Spurs haven't beaten Dallas in a playoff series since 2003 in the conference finals. San Antonio beat New Jersey in the NBA Finals that year...Barea had 14 points, three less than Terry...The Spurs converted 16 Dallas turnovers into 21 points.