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Spurs, Suns clinch series

Associated Press

The Spurs moved on, and Dallas is done early again.

Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and San Antonio survived blowing a 22-point lead to beat the Mavericks, 97-87, in Game 6 on Thursday night, handing Dirk Nowitzki and second-seeded Dallas another first-round exit.

The Spurs got payback after the Mavericks eliminated them a year ago, and will play Phoenix in the Western Conference semifinals beginning Monday.

“For us there was no tomorrow,” Ginobili said after the Spurs finished off the Mavericks in front of a raucous home crowd.

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Nowitzki nearly carried the Mavericks to an unbelievable comeback, getting 25 of his 33 points in a remarkable second half. But the Mavericks still stumbled to their third first-round exit in the last four years.

George Hill had 21 points for the Spurs, coming off their worst regular season in the Tim Duncan era.

Caron Butler scored 25 points and rookie Rodrigue Beaubois had 16, but aside from them and Nowitzki, no other Dallas player scored more than six points.

Phoenix 99, Portland 90: Jason Richardson scored 28 points, including five three-pointers, and Amare Stoudemire added 22 points as the visiting Suns knocked out the Trail Blazers.

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The Suns went up 53-41 at halftime and led by as many as 16 points in the second half. The Trail Blazers tied it at 76 midway through the fourth quarter, but could not pull ahead.

Martell Webster had 19 points for Portland, which failed to advance out of the first round for the second year in a row.


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