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NBA PLAYOFFS

Tony Parker scores 43, but Mavericks defeat Spurs

Dallas takes a 3-1 series edge. Chris Paul leads Hornets over Nuggets.

April 26, 2009|Associated Press

Tony Parker came out as promised, aggressively going right at the basket.

However, one spectacular half and a late surge by Parker couldn't save San Antonio from the brink of playoff elimination against the Dallas Mavericks.

Josh Howard scored 28 points, seven in an early second-half spurt at Dallas that put the Mavericks ahead to stay in a 99-90 victory Saturday that gave them a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

Parker had 31 of his 43 points by halftime, matching George Gervin's franchise playoff record for points in a half. That came after he was held to 12 points in Game 3, when the Spurs lost, 88-67, in their lowest-scoring playoff game ever.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in San Antonio.

Without an incredible comeback, the Spurs will be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Parker looked like he did in Game 2, a 38-point performance in which he was constantly driving for scores in a victory that evened the series. Tim Duncan followed his worst playoff game ever, four points and two rebounds in Game 3, with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki was held to 12 points, but he had 13 rebounds for the Mavericks. Jason Kidd scored 17 points.

New Orleans 95, Denver 93: Chris Paul played as hard and long as needed to give the Hornets a desperately needed victory. Paul had 32 points and 12 assists in 46 minutes, helping New Orleans hold on at home to cut the Nuggets' lead to 2-1 in the series.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points for Denver but missed a jump shot that could have put the Nuggets in the lead with under five seconds left. James Posey, playing despite a sprained knee, corralled the rebound.

David West had 19 points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.

There were 58 fouls called in the game.

Miami 107, Atlanta 78: Dwyane Wade stayed hot with 29 points and eight assists, Jermaine O'Neal had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Heat extended Atlanta's decade-plus road playoff drought, coasting to a huge halftime lead before routing the Hawks to take a 2-1 series lead.

Atlanta missed 17 of its first 19 shots, and a 25-6 Heat run to end the first half pushed its lead to 50-29.

Josh Smith, Al Horford and Mike Bibby scored 13 apiece for Atlanta, which is 0-12 in road playoff games since May 8, 1997, losing all but one by at least 10 points.

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