Spurs 92, Mavericks 89: San Antonio Takes Commanding 3-1 Series Lead

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - George Hill made 11-of-16 from the floor -- 5-of-6 from three-point distance -- for a playoff career-best 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs took a stranglehold in their Western Conference quarterfinal series with a 92-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Hill fell one short of his regular-season career-high, although it was still enough to help the Spurs grab a 3-1 series lead with Game 5 slated for Tuesday in Dallas. The turning point in the game proved to be San Antonio's defensive prowess in the third quarter, when it outscored the Mavs by a 29-11 margin.

Manu Ginobili, opting against a mask in favor of a bandage to cover his recently broken nose, added 17 points and seven assists, while Richard Jefferson provided 15 points in the win.

Tim Duncan struggled with his shooting game, finishing 1-for-9 with four points, but he grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spurs.

Dirk Nowitzki had just 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who will have to beat the Spurs three consecutive times to advance. Dallas did recently accomplish the feat, though, winning the final three regular-season games against San Antonio.

Caron Butler also had 17 points for Dallas, while Shawn Marion had 14 points -- only two in the second half.

Trailing by 13 with just over five minutes to play, Dallas mounted a comeback with a 13-2 run.

Jason Terry had five points during the stretch, and Nowitzki hit a pair from the line with 2:13 left to cut the Mavs' deficit to 86-84.

Ginobili and Terry traded threes, and Ginobili came up with two clutch free throws to extend San Antonio's lead to 91-87 with 42.1 seconds to play.

Nowitzki attempted to keep it a two-point game but missed a 14-foot jumper insider 30 seconds to play, but Dallas got a reprieve when Jason Kidd forced a jump ball. The Mavs gained possession after Ginobili knocked the tip out of bounds, but Kidd missed a three-point attempt from the corner.

Jefferson got the rebound and hit a free throw to make it a five-point game with under 15 ticks left, and San Antonio held on from there.

Neither team could get its offense going in the first quarter, and Hill's three-pointer in the final second of the period gave San Antonio a 20-17 lead.

Dallas, though, stormed out in the second quarter to grab a double-digit lead.

Down 24-20, the Mavs went on a 23-4 spurt; Marion had eight points during the run, Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood each had six, and Jose Barea drilled a three to end it with Dallas leading, 43-28, with 2 1/2 minutes left.

The Spurs were able to cut their deficit to 48-37 at halftime, and they used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to surge in front.

Ginobili began the burst with a 12-footer to draw San Antonio to within eight, and his 1-of-2 effort at the line finished it with the Spurs holding a 62-57 lead. Dallas went nearly 6 1/2 minutes without a point until Nowitzki hit a pair of flagrant free throws.

Hill, who had 11 in the third quarter, drilled a three in the final half- minute to make it a seven-point game, 66-59, heading to the fourth.

Hill continued to have the answers in the fourth quarter, hitting another three for a 77-69 lead with eight minutes left and following with a jumper from the elbow to extend the Spurs' advantage to 81-71 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.

Dallas' Eduardo Najera was ejected with 11:13 left in the fourth after committing a flagrant-2 foul on Ginobili...Hill's five three-pointers is a career-high, including both regular season and playoffs...Terry had 13 points, all in the fourth quarter.

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