Wednesday , May , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Texas tussle all even; Mavericks, Howard rout Spurs

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Josh Howard scored 27 points and Dirk
Nowitzki added 21, as the Dallas Mavericks ran past the San Antonio Spurs,
113-91, to even their Western Conference semifinal series after two games.

Howard and Nowitzki each pulled down nine rebounds, and Devin Harris hit for
20 points to help the Mavericks surge to a commanding victory after losing
87-85 in the opener on Sunday.

“If they get their defense set, they’re so good and long, and tough,” Nowitzki
said. “We thought if we get the game speed up a little bit, it plays in our
hands.”

Jerry Stackhouse tallied 19 points for Dallas, which opened a 20-point
halftime cushion and cruised in the second half. The Mavericks had just six
turnovers on Tuesday, compared to 13 in Game 1.

“We’re not 20 points better than the Spurs,” Mavericks head coach Avery
Johnson said. “They’re still the champions. One win by a team in the Western
Conference semifinals doesn’t mean anything’s been taken away from them. We
just want to grind it out this series.”

Tim Duncan had 28 points and nine rebounds for the defending NBA champions,
which gave up 35 points on free throws. Tony Parker ended with 15 points while
Manu Ginobili scored 13 and Brent Barry chipped in 12 for the Spurs.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven set is Saturday in Dallas.

Duncan, who also had four blocked shots, made 8-of-10 shots from the field,
but couldn’t get the other help he needed.

A three-pointer by Stackhouse moved Dallas to a 25-14 lead with 3 1/2 minutes
left in the opening quarter. The Mavs were on top, 26-22, after 12 minutes,
but used a monster second quarter to pull away.

Dallas outscored the Spurs, 32-16, in the second quarter, going 9-of-16 from
the field in the period. Stackhouse had nine points in the stanza, including a
pair of three-pointers.

“They really got out on us there,” Duncan said. “Jerry hit some shots in the
corner, some (three-pointers). The whistle was going crazy, left and right.
That was kind of the difference in the game.”

A 16-3 spurt by the Mavericks in the quarter extended them to a 56-35
advantage with 1:42 left in the half following a free throw from Harris, who
made a switch by starting at point guard.

Nowitzki’s jumper early in the third moved the Mavs to their largest
advantage, 60-38. The Spurs trimmed the deficit to 15 later in the quarter,
but were behind 84-66 going into the fourth.

Barry’s three-pointer brought San Antonio within 94-80 with 7:32 left, but the
Mavs responded with an 8-2 run to pull away for good.

“I thought we were firing from all angles tonight,” Nowitzki said. “Everybody
was playing well. It was a great team effort.”

Game Notes

Jason Terry added 11 points while starting at shooting guard for Dallas, which
missed eight of its 43 foul shots…Howard made all 11 of his free
throws…Spurs guard Nick Van Exel got two quick technical fouls and was
ejected with 7:30 left in the second quarter.

DAL SAN