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Texas tussle heads to Dallas for Spurs, Mavs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks will resume their Western Conference quarterfinal series with Game 3 at American Airlines Center Saturday evening.

The Mavs tied the series with a 113-92 road victory Wednesday night to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Spurs. The series could easily have been 2-0 for Dallas, but the Mavericks squandered a double-digit fourth-quarter lead in Sunday's opener.

"I'm little worried going home," admitted Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki. "I'd rather play Game 3 (in San Antonio), I guess. We've got to figure it out at home. We can't relax, and that's the main thing."

The Spurs have won four straight in Big D.

On Wednesday, Monta Ellis provided 21 points and Shawn Marion scored 20, and Dallas took advantage of sloppy play by the Spurs. The Mavs turned it around on Wednesday by forcing 24 Spurs turnovers, which led to 33 points.

"That's the been the weak link for us throughout the year and it showed up tonight," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It's a bad combination when you play bad defense at one end and give up the ball at the other end."

Nowitzki had 16 points, two less than teammate Devin Harris. Jose Calderon chipped all 12 of his points during the third quarter. Dallas committed only eight turnovers in the win.

Manu Ginobili totaled 27 points off the bench for San Antonio, which made half of its shots from the field and 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. Tony Parker had 12 points and Tim Duncan 11 to go with seven rebounds. They were the only double-figure scorers for the Spurs.

The Mavericks led by five at the half and Duncan's layup had the Spurs within 76-69 with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter. Dallas scored the next eight. Vince Carter capped the burst with a 3-pointer.

The difference stood at 88-75 going to the fourth, thanks in part to Dallas' stellar defense. The Mavs scored 10 points off six Spurs turnovers in the period.

"We were just very active," Ellis said. "They made some careless turnovers and that was good for us because we came back on the other end and converted them."

Carter's driving jam widened the gap to 99-76 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining and the visitors were up at least 20 the rest of the game.

"Such a poor performance in the playoffs really bugs me," Ginobili said.

It was San Antonio's largest margin of defeat in a playoff game since a 103-81 loss at Dallas on Apr. 27, 2010. It marked San Antonio's biggest margin of defeat in a home postseason contest since May 9, 2006 versus the Mavs (113-91) in Game 2 of the West semifinals.

The Mavericks have won four of their last five against the Spurs in the postseason.

Game 4 will be Monday night in Dallas.