DALLAS // The San Antonio Spurs topped Texas rivals Dallas 102-88 yesterday to level their NBA playoff series at 1-1. Tim Duncan scored eight successive points for the Spurs midway through the fourth quarter and finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds while Manu Ginobili scored 23. Game Three is in San Antonio on Friday. In the night's other game, the Orlando Magic took a 2-0 series lead over the Charlotte Bobcats with a 92-77 triumph.
"The opportunities were there for me," Duncan told reporters. "They had to pay attention to Manu with the way he's been shooting the ball, and I got in some creases and got shots to go." Jason Terry top scored for Dallas with 27 points but the home team fell behind 9-0 to start the game and trailed the entire night. The Mavericks were down by as much as 19 in the third before Dirk Nowitzki found his range and Dallas got back into the game with a 21-8 run.
Nowitzki finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds but could not match his effort in Game One where he missed just two shots and scored 36. In the opening game loss, the Spurs had failed to get much of a contribution from their supporting cast, but yesterday Richard Jefferson came up big with 19 points and seven rebounds. Tony Parker came off the bench for the second successive game as he returns from a hand injury that kept him out toward the end of the regular season, and chipped in 16 and eight assists.
"We took care of the ball better tonight and we didn't foul," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "We played sharper than we did the other night." * Reuters