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Updated: Thursday, April 17, 2003 1:27 AM EDT
NBA RECAP
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Dallas 93, San Antonio 72
DALLAS MAVERICKS
Dallas Mavericks
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SAN ANTONIO SPURS
San Antonio Spurs
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SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks may not have clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, but Dirk Nowitzki made sure they reached another goal.

Nowitzki contributed 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Mavericks routed the cautious San Antonio Spurs, 93-72, to win a franchise-record 60th game.

"It was a great ride this year," Nowitzki said. "The fact that we went out and got 60 wins is an amazing feat and definitely something that will be positive for us coming into the playoffs."

The Mavericks and Spurs both finished 60-22 - the best record in the NBA - and split their season series. But San Antonio clinched the top seed by virtue of a superior conference record (36-16 vs. 34-18).

San Antonio awaits eighth-seeded Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs. Third-seeded Dallas will face sixth-seeded Portland which won 50 games. "We're going to show up and we're going to play," said Mavericks coach Don Nelson right after the game, when it was unclear whether they would faced Portland or the Los Angeles Lakers. "It doesn't matter if it's Los Angeles or Portland."

"It doesn't really matter who we play," Nowitzki said. "They're both really good teams. No matter what, we'll need an inside presence and shoot the ball aggressively."

Shawn Bradley scored 15 points and fellow reserve Nick Van Exel added 14 for the Mavs, who shot 44 percent (40-of-91) and limited the Spurs to 36 percent (26-of-72).

Dallas took the lead for good, 11-9, on a 13-foot fadeaway jumper by Nowitzki with 8:19 left in the opening period. The Mavs led just 45-41 at the break before blowing open the game in the second half.

San Antonio placed leading league MVP candidate Tim Duncan and Stephen Jackson on the injured list prior to the contest as a precaution. Both will be ready for action Saturday when the Spurs host the Suns, a team it has lost to on three occasions this season.

"When a team beats you three out of four times, it concerns you going into the playoffs," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "If we beat someone three out of four, I'd be concerned. They've given us problems."

Spurs rookie guard Manu Ginobili, one of the team's key reserves, played only 11 minutes after spraining his right ankle.

"He tweaked it again," Popovich said. "I've been told it's not serious, that it's mild. I hope mild means OK."

San Antonio center David Robinson scored seven points in his final regular-season home game.

"Before the game, I was thinking back to my first regular-season game against the Lakers and this is my last regular-season game. It's kind of come full circle, it's been great. I don't like to end it with a loss but it was a fun game."


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