- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker had 38 points and eight assists to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-84 on Monday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Dallas was trying to send the Spurs to consecutive home playoff losses for the first time since 2002, but couldn’t contain San Antonio’s speedy point guard. Parker had 27 points in the first half.

“I was just trying to be aggressive,” Parker said. “It was a must win for us. Big game.”

Jason Terry finished with 16 points for Dallas, which suffered one of the worst losses in the playoff rivalry.

Game 3 is Thursday in Dallas.

The Mavericks beat the Spurs 105-97 on Saturday night for their first road playoff victory in three years. But it was hardly rare territory for San Antonio: The Spurs have come back to win four series after losing Game 1 since 2002.

They put together a convincing response in the second game and the frustration for Dallas could be seen all the way down its bench. Mavs owner Mark Cuban punched a water cooler as San Antonio pulled away in the fourth.

The Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series since 2006. Winning the opener was a start, but they’ll have to figure out another way to stop Parker in Game 3.

Parker finished 16-of-22 from the field. He had 19 points in the first quarter alone, equaling the Mavericks’ total.

Parker departed with about 5 minutes left in the fourth to a raucous ovation _ and with the leading man out of the game, many fans headed to the exits as Parker took his seat.

The Mavericks were a favorite target all season for Parker, who averaged more than 31 points and seven assists in four regular-season meetings this season. He had 24 points in Game 1 but the Mavs kept him under control by using different defenders, including the pesky Jose Barea.

The approach didn’t work this time.

Parker fell three points of his playoff high of 41, set last year in the first round against Phoenix.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd had 14 points apiece for Dallas.

Tim Duncan had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Drew Gooden had 13 for the Spurs.

Dallas shot just 39 percent from the field. The Spurs also dominated on the glass, outrebounding Dallas 44-28.

Notes:@ Mavs G Jerry Stackhouse, bothered by a foot injury all season, left San Antonio on Sunday for personal reasons. Stackhouse watched Game 1 in a suit on the bench and isn’t expected to see any action in the playoffs. … Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle both groomed Cleveland’s Mike Brown, who was named the NBA’s coach of the year Monday.

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