SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker had 23 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, Manu Ginobili added 20 points and the San Antonio Spurs capped an emotional NBA championship commemoration with a thrilling 101-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in their season opener Tuesday night.
Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double in a season opener, the most by any player in NBA history, according to Elias Sports.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points and Devin Harris had 17 points for Dallas.
Following a video recap of the 2014 season narrated by actor and Spurs fan Samuel L. Jackson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver presented San Antonio’s staff and players with their championship rings. The inscription inside the ring was "Good to Great," which was coach Gregg Popovich’s mantra last season.
It was the teams’ first meeting since Dallas took San Antonio to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs last season — the Spurs’ toughest test during their run to a fifth NBA championship. The rematch proved just as tense after a sluggish beginning.
After Nowitzki gave Dallas a 100-98 lead with a fade-away jumper over Boris Diaw with 1:37 remaining, Parker drained a 3-pointer in front of the Mavericks’ bench off a feed from Diaw for a 101-100 lead. Parker was 4 for 4 on 3-pointers, matching a career high for 3s in a game.
Chandler Parsons, who left the Houston Rockets to sign with the Mavericks, missed a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining that would have won the game. His shot hit the front of the rim.
San Antonio committed five turnovers in the first eight minutes and missed its first three shots before returning to the fluid ball sharing and long-range shooting that resulted in a five-game rout of the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
Both teams came to life during a tense third quarter. Technical fouls were issued against Tyson Chandler and Nowitzki about a minute apart about 4 minutes into the third quarter after both argued calls against them made by official Jason Phillips.
Nowitzki continued to argue against an offensive foul even after receiving the technical, leading Duncan to walk by the Mavericks star a few times to argue in the contrary.
Both technical fouls came San Antonio’s 14-2 run that created a 62-59 lead with 6:36 remaining in the third.
Spurs: This was the fifth meeting between the Spurs and Mavericks to open the season with the teams having split the previous four. . San Antonio returns 14 players, which is the most in franchise history. . Ginobili shot just 20 percent during the preseason, going 8 for 41 from the field and 2 for 23 on 3-pointers. He was 6 for 13 from the field and 2 for 6 on 3s on Tuesday. . The Spurs lead the league with nine international players. . Tiago Splitter (calf), Kawhi Leonard (eye infection) and Patty Mills (shoulder) all suited up to receive their rings, but donned jackets and jeans to sit behind the bench during the game.
Mavericks: The Mavericks are 20-15 in season openers, including three of their last four. . G Raymond Felton (sprained right ankle) missed the game. . F Richard Jefferson, who spent 2 1/2 lackluster seasons in San Antonio, was booed heavily each time he was announced.