Spurs spoil Nowitzki’s return, thump Mavs 129-91,
Nowitzki finishes with eight points, six rebounds in his season debut.
Danny Green scored a career-high 25 points and the host San Antonio Spurs spoiled Dirk Nowitzki’s season debut with a 129-91 rout of the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.
Tony Parker had 18 points, Kawhi Leonard added 17, Tim Duncan 15 and Stephen Jackson 14 for the Spurs (21-8).
After missing the Mavericks’ first 27 regularseason games, Nowitzki entered with 6:28 left in the first quarter to a hearty mix of cheers and boos. Nowitzki underwent surgery on his right knee Oct. 19 after battling soreness the previous season. The former MVP quickly picked up a rebound for Dallas and finished with eight points — going 3 for 4 from the field — and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
Darren Collison scored 15 points to lead Dallas (12-16), which lost its third straight. Vince Carter added 13 points and Chris Kaman had 10.
Nowitzki’s presence did little to stifle San Antonio’s outside shooting. The Spurs were 20 from 30 from 3-point range and shot 56 percent from the field overall.
The Spurs led by as many as 46, while the Mavs’ lone lead came at 4-3 on Kaman’s jumper with 10:30 left in the first quarter.
Every active Spurs player scored and played at least eight minutes.
Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw hit consecu- tive 3s to push San Antonio’s lead to 55-45 with 3:42 left in the first half.
Green’s seventh 3pointer gave the Spurs a 77-57 lead with 7 minutes left in the third quarter.
Tiago Splitter’s dunk gave San Antonio a 10066 lead at the close of the third. Splitter ran to the sideline after the dunk with a huge a smile, where he was immediately greeted with a low five by an equally happy Duncan.
Clippers 103, Suns 77: Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists and visiting Los Angeles extended a franchise record with its 13th consecutive victory.
Reserve Jamal Crawford added 22 points for the Clippers, who won in Phoenix for the first time since April 17, 2007. Los Angeles’ overall win streak is an NBA season best and its six straight road victories are also a franchise best.
Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Luis Scola had 11 and Markieff Morris added 10 for the Suns, who have dropped two straight after winning four in a row.
Phoenix kept it close for the first quarter and half of the second. Shannon Brown sank an 11-foot pull-up jumper on a fast break as the Suns trimmed an eight-point deficit to 43-40 with 5:36 left in the first half.
Knicks 94, Timberwolves 91: Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, rallying host New York.
New York trailed from the opening minutes until Anthony scored eight straight points down the stretch. He had scored just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting in the first half, but had the final 12 for the Knicks to give them a 4-2 finish on their six-game homestand.
Nets 95, 76ers 92: Joe Johnson scored 22 points, Gerald Wallace had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists and host Brooklyn held on.
Deron Williams added 16 points to help New Jersey end a six-game losing streak at home against Philadelphia, which has lost six of its last seven games.
Jazz 97, Magic 93: Paul Millsap scored 18 points, Gordon Hayward added 17 and visiting Utah survived an Orlando rally to snap a two-game losing streak.
Arron Afflalo had 20 points, and Nik Vucevic added 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead Orlando, which has dropped backto-back games since losing starting forward Glen Davis to a shoulder injury.
Kings suspend Cousins: DeMarcus Cousins was suspended indefinitely by the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Cousins and Kings coach Keith Smart exchanged words in the locker room during halftime of Sacramento’s 97-85 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. Cousins also was suspended one game without pay by the NBA for striking O.J. Mayo in the groin during a loss at Dallas on Dec. 10. Following a loss at San Antonio on Nov. 9, the league suspended Cousins two games without pay for confronting Spurs announcer Sean Elliott in a “hostile manner.”