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Spurs rout Mavericks in Nowitzki's season debut

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Associated Press
12/23/2012 10:57:36 PM
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SAN ANTONIO -- Danny Green scored a career-high 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs spoiled Dirk Nowitzki's season debut with a 129-91 rout of the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

Tony Parker had 18 points, Kawhi Leonard added 17, Tim Duncan 15 and Stephen Jackson 14 for the Spurs (21-8).

After missing the Mavericks' first 27 regular-season games, Nowitzki entered with 6:28 left in the first quarter to a hearty mix of cheers and boos. Nowitzki underwent surgery on his right knee Oct. 19 after battling soreness the previous season. The former MVP quickly picked up a rebound for Dallas and finished with eight points -- going 3 for 4 from the field -- and six rebounds in 20 minutes.

Darren Collison scored 15 points to lead Dallas (12-16), which lost its third straight. Vince Carter added 13 points and Chris Kaman had 10.

Nowitzki's presence did little to stifle San Antonio's outside shooting. The Spurs were 20 from 30 from 3-point range and shot 56 per cent from the field overall.

The Spurs led by as many as 46, while the Mavs' lone lead came at 4-3 on Kaman's jumper with 10:30 left in the first quarter.

Every active Spurs player scored and played at least eight minutes.

Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw hit consecutive 3s to push San Antonio's lead to 55-45 with 3:42 left in the first half.

Green's seventh 3-pointer gave the Spurs a 77-57 lead with 7 minutes left in the third quarter.

Tiago Splitter's dunk gave San Antonio a 100-66 lead at the close of the third. Splitter ran to the sideline after the dunk with a huge a smile, where he was immediately greeted with a low five by an equally happy Duncan.

NOTES: Spurs G Gary Neal left the game early in the fourth quarter with a strained right calf. His status is unknown. . San Antonio has dominated Dallas at home, holding a 51-26 advantage against their intrastate rivals. . Seven players have led the Spurs in individual scoring this season. . San Antonio has had 12 players start this season, the most in the NBA. . The Spurs lead the league in assists at 25.4 per game and the team's bench leads all reserves at 11.3. . Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle let official Karl Lane know he was not happy with the officiating. "Does counting fouls lose you the game? It's so lopsided, it's ridiculous." The fouls were 8-4 in favour of the Spurs at that point. The Spurs closed the game with 22 fouls compared to 18 for the Mavericks.

Nowitzki and Parker (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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