SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker made a clutch shot in the fourth quarter. Manu Ginobili had a big game, and Tim Duncan contributed with a double-double.
San Antonio's efficient performance on opening night looked awfully familiar.
Parker made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining, and the Spurs began their title defense with a thrilling 101-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Parker finished with 23 points and Ginobili scored 20 for San Antonio, which shot 53 percent from the field. 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.
Dirk Nowitzki gave Dallas a 100-98 lead with a fadeaway jumper over Boris Diaw with 1:37 remaining, but Parker drained a 3-pointer 30 seconds later in front of the Mavericks' bench off a feed from Diaw. Parker was 4 for 4 from long range, matching a career high for 3s in a game.
"It was a great basketball game, you can't kick off the season with a better game than this for the fans — there's no way," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Unfortunately, the slim margins of winning and losing are all that anybody remembers. If we get one more stop one more basket than we're all him here singing a different tune. That's the world we live in the Western Conference."
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for Dallas, and Nowitzki had 18. Devin Harris finished with 17 points.
Chandler Parsons, who signed with the Mavericks in the offseason, missed a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining. His shot hit the front of the rim.
The miss extended San Antonio's streak to five wins following a championship celebration, but it was the first since capturing its last title in 2007.
"It's special," Ginobili said. "I think it helps you actually. Sometimes you don't play that sharp because it's the first game of the season. You have to move from the success of the previous season to the new beginning. But it all gets your emotions up so you want to get out on the court and do a lot of things, hustle, jump, run and win."
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.
The ring presentation even drew a series of fist pumps from the normally stoic Popovich.
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.
San Antonio committed five turnovers in the first eight minutes and missed its first three shots before returning to the fluid offense that led to a five-game rout of the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The third quarter included technical fouls for teammates Tyson Chandler and Nowitzki about a minute apart after both argued calls 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.
Spurs: This was the fifth meeting between the Spurs and Mavericks to open the season, with the teams splitting the previous four. ... San Antonio returns 14 players, 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 from long range 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. ... 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.
The Spurs are at Phoenix on Friday.
The Mavericks host Utah on Thursday.
All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.