Tim Duncan bounced back from one of the least productive games of his career to score 17 points and reserve Gary
Neal had 21, sending the San Antonio Spurs to a 99-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in a showdown between the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Dirk Nowitzki missed his second straight game because of a sprained knee ligament and the Mavericks have lost both. Dallas had won 17 of 18 with its leading scorer.
San Antonio won for the 12th time in 14 games and improved to 28-4, extending the best start in franchise history.
Coming off a thorough victory over the Lakers, the Spurs got behind in the opening minutes then used a 21-2 run that started late in the first quarter to go ahead for good.
Dallas' Caron Butler had a season-high 30 points and Jason Kidd had a triple-double with 12 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.