Nowitzki, Mavs oust the Spurs with Game 5 win

The Sports Network

4/29/2009 1:29:26 AM

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki poured home 31 points with nine rebounds and Jason Terry added 19 points off the bench, as Dallas moved into the Western Conference semifinals with a comfortable 106-93 victory over San Antonio.

Tim Duncan failed to get out of the first round for the first time, as Dallas won the quarterfinal series, 4-1. Duncan scored 30 points with eight rebounds and Tony Parker added 26 points and 12 assists, but the Spurs missed Manu Ginobili or another viable third scoring option throughout the series.

"They are a better team than we are right now," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Josh Howard donated 17 points with eight rebounds, while Jason Kidd made four threes for 12 points as sixth-seeded Dallas will face either New Orleans or Denver in the conference semifinals. Denver leads that quarterfinal series, 3-1.

Dallas started out with a 14-4 stretch, capped by five straight from Nowitzki and a Kidd three-pointer. It set the tone for a game Dallas never trailed and led by as many as 16 at one point.

Two short buckets from Howard sandwiched around an Erick Dampier putback gave Dallas a 24-10 advantage, and the Mavericks held a 31-20 edge going into the second period.

The game Spurs drew within 45-37 after a George Hill basket in transition and a Michael Finley driving layup. Those two role players, however, combined for just 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting.

Hill's three with just under 30 ticks to go brought the Spurs within 52-48 at the half.

Duncan's fadeaway again drew the Spurs within four points at 63-59 in the third stanza, but Dallas reeled off nine consecutive points to reassert control. A Howard three and a pair of Nowitzki free throws opened the 72-59 advantage.

A Nowitzki jumper and Kidd's three-pointer gave Dallas the momentum, and more importantly, an 82-67 edge after three stanzas.

Dallas maintained its comfortable advantage early in the period before the veteran Spurs made one last run. After Dallas seized its largest lead at 92-76, the Spurs scored six in a row and came within 10 points on three separate occasions, but Dallas answered at every turn.

The balance was astounding, as Dampier scored 11 points with 12 rebounds and Jose Barea registered 10 points. Every Dallas starter reached double figures in the victory.

"Balance has been our calling card all season," said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle.

Game Notes: Dallas shot 51.4 percent from the floor and made 10-of-20 three-pointers along with 20-of-25 free throws...San Antonio made 52 percent of its shots, yet converted only 3-of-16 three-pointers, a loss of 21 points to Dallas from beyond the arc...San Antonio dominated the paint with 52 points to just 32 for Dallas...Howard celebrated his 29th birthday Tuesday.