for this game

Mavs hold off Spurs late

Mar 5, 2009 - 6:09 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks made Mark Cuban happy - finally.

Josh Howard scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 24 and 12 rebounds Wednesday as Cuban's Mavericks posted their fourth win in five games, a 107-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Jason Kidd hit the game-clinching shot in the final minute for the Mavericks, who shot 54 percent (37-of-69), including 9-of-19 from the arc.

Dallas, though, was coming off Monday's disappointing road loss to the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder. The setback caused the owner call out his team Tuesday, threatening to get rid of those who weren't trying.

"We just called out Cuban in the locker room and told him that if he had been on the trip, we would have won the game," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's about the third or fourth road game he's missed all year.

"I knew the guys would bounce back. We've gone through this a lot. It's been a reminder to us of what this is about, and that is bringing the energy, sticking together and battling. Really being a battling, fighting team. We've got to build on this."

Cuban agreed.

"If we play hard every possession like we did tonight, we can beat a really good team," the owner said. "Now, it's up to the guys to keep on doing it. They did a (heck) of a job."

Kidd nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner - not exactly his forte - with 31 seconds left to give Dallas a five-point lead and stave off the requisite late-game rally from San Antonio.

Tony Parker scored 37 points and Tim Duncan added 19 and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who fought valiantly in the final seconds but could not secure the necessary defensive stop.

"They kept making plays, kept making shots," Spurs guard Roger Mason said. "They're a good team, give them credit. We feel like we could have played a little better defense, but in the end, they made more plays."

After an empty possession by Dallas, Mason nailed a three with 1:49 left to force the Mavericks to call timeout while clinging to a four-point lead.

Parker then tried to bring the Spurs back himself, putting the speed on toward the basket to a draw a foul, making two free throws to make it 100-98.

Josh Howard and Parker exchanged layups to set the stage for Kidd, who is a 34 percent career shooter from the arc. This one, however, was in rhythm.

Playing the unusual role of a catch-and-shoot guard, Kidd received an open look thanks to some great ball movement. Nowitzki moved the ball from the top of the arc to Jason Terry, who had a look on the wing but made the extra pass to the wide-open Kidd.

"I had a feeling they would try to double Dirk, we tried to get Dirk at the free-throw line, so he could see the double-team and I chose to go to Terry's side, because I felt that if they were coming off of me, that I would have a wide open shot," Kidd said.

"It was just up to me to make it or miss. I felt that I was going to make it, I wanted the shot."

The three by the future Hall of Fame point guard put the nail in the coffin against San Antonio, which last week had routed Dallas, 93-76, without Duncan or Manu Ginobili.

The Mavericks outscored the Spurs, 27-19, in the third, when they held their opponents without a field goal for the final seven minutes of the period. As a result, Dallas held a seven-point lead after three quarters.