SAN ANTONIO, April 16 (Ticker) --
The Dallas Mavericks may not have
clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, but Dirk
made sure they reached another goal.
Nowitzki contributed 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as
the Mavericks routed the cautious San Antonio Spurs, 93-72, to
win a franchise-record 60th game.
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"It was a great ride this year," Nowitzki said. "The fact that
we went out and got 60 wins is an amazing feat and definitely
something that will be positive for us coming into the
The Mavericks and Spurs both finished 60-22 - the best record in
the NBA - and split their season series. But San Antonio
clinched the top seed by virtue of a superior conference record
(36-16 vs. 34-18).
San Antonio awaits eighth-seeded Phoenix in the first round of
the playoffs. Third-seeded Dallas will face sixth-seeded
Portland which won 50 games. "We're going to show up and we're
going to play," said Mavericks coach Don Nelson right after the
game, when it was unclear whether they would faced Portland or
the Los Angeles Lakers. "It doesn't matter if it's Los Angeles
"It doesn't really matter who we play," Nowitzki said. "They're
both really good teams. No matter what, we'll need an inside
presence and shoot the ball aggressively."
scored 15 points and fellow reserve Nick Van Exel
added 14 for the Mavs, who shot 44 percent (40-of-91) and
limited the Spurs to 36 percent (26-of-72).
Dallas took the lead for good, 11-9, on a 13-foot fadeaway
jumper by Nowitzki with 8:19 left in the opening period. The
Mavs led just 45-41 at the break before blowing open the game in
the second half.
San Antonio placed leading league MVP candidate Tim Duncan and
on the injured list prior to the contest as a
precaution. Both will be ready for action Saturday when the
Spurs host the Suns, a team it has lost to on three occasions
"When a team beats you three out of four times, it concerns you
going into the playoffs," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If
we beat someone three out of four, I'd be concerned. They've
given us problems."
Spurs rookie guard Manu Ginobili, one of the team's key
reserves, played only 11 minutes after spraining his right
"He tweaked it again," Popovich said. "I've been told it's not
serious, that it's mild. I hope mild means OK."
San Antonio center David Robinson
scored seven points in his
final regular-season home game.
"Before the game, I was thinking back to my first regular-season
game against the Lakers and this is my last regular-season
game. It's kind of come full circle, it's been great. I don't
like to end it with a loss but it was a fun game."