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Duncan powers Spurs to season sweep of Mavs

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

U.S. Sports Desk, Mar 15 (EFE).- The San Antonio Spurs eked out a 92-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to sweep the teams' season series for the first time in 15 years.

Veteran Spurs power forward Tim Duncan rediscovered his peak level of a decade ago during Thursday night's contest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, scoring 28 points and grabbing 19 rebounds in 36 minutes of action.

Though they struggled down the stretch, the Spurs held on to make it four victories over the Mavs in the 2012-13 campaign, the first season sweep of Dallas since the 36-year-old Duncan's rookie season in 1997-98.

San Antonio had defeated the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday and now stand at 4-2 without star point guard Tony Parker, who will be out at least three more weeks with an ankle injury.

Reserve guard Gary Neal was the Spurs' second-leading scorer with 16 points, while forward Kawhi Leonard contributed 12 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Dirk Nowitzki led the way for the Mavericks with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Darren Collison added 12 points off the bench.

With the win, the Spurs improved their record to 50-16 and hold a slim game-and-a-half lead over the Thunder in the Western Conference standings.

The Mavericks fell to 30-34 and will need a strong late-season run to make the playoffs.

In one other NBA game Thursday night, the Portland Trail Blazers topped the injury-riddled New York Knicks 105-90.

The Knicks, playing without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire, took an eight-point lead in the first quarter but were overmatched the rest of the way by the Blazers and their star rookie Damian Lillard, who scored 26 points and dished out 10 assists.

The Blazers improved to 30-34 and are tied with the Mavericks for the ninth spot in the Western Conference with 18 games left in the season, while the Knicks fell to 38-25 and are struggling to hold on to third place in the Eastern Conference.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130315/duncan-powers-spurs-season-sweep-mavs