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Green, Duncan lead Spurs past Mavericks 116-109

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2013 at 12:26 am •  Published: December 27, 2013

DALLAS (AP) — Tim Duncan has come up big in crunch time hundreds of times having being with coach Gregg Popovich for 17 seasons.

Danny Green, a relative newcomer, is fitting in just fine in just his fourth season with the San Antonio Spurs.

Green didn't miss a shot in a 22-point performance that helped the Spurs defeat the Dallas Mavericks 116-107 Thursday night.

Taking advantage of a weakened Dallas frontcourt, Duncan finished 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double this season and 768th of his career.

"Danny Green was on fire from 3, and we were able to build up a little lead and hang on," Popovich said.

Green has started 26 of the Spurs' 30 games this season, but he didn't even come off the bench until 3½ minutes remained in the first quarter Thursday.

Less than a minute later, he made three free throws to tie the game 18-18. San Antonio didn't trail again. Green finished the game 7 for 7 from the field, including five 3-pointers. He scored 11 points in the second quarter.

"I got into a little rhythm going to the free throw line," Green said. "They just kept finding me when I was open. It got easier when we got some stops and steals and in transition. That's how I get most of my open looks."

Green said coming off the bench sometimes helps him get better looks.

"That's part of what Pop is trying to experiment with, to see how it goes," Green said. "See who works with what."

Duncan is one of the constants.

The Spurs appeared to have the game in hand with a 100-85 lead, but the Mavericks went on a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to three points with 3:55 to play.

On San Antonio's next four trips down the court, Duncan scored three baskets and passed to Green for his final 3-pointer and a 110-103 lead.

"They made their run, made some turnovers and got back into the game, but we were able to make some good plays, pick and roll, got them to suck in one time and got it out to Danny," Duncan said. "Danny knocks down a big 3 or us. Good execution down the stretch."

The 6-foot-11 Duncan was working most of the night against 6-7 DeJuan Blair because the Mavericks' taller centers, Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright, had an undisclosed illness.

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