SAN ANTONIO 96, DALLAS 83 -------------------------
DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks expect to see Tim Duncan take over a game, not Tony Parker.
Parker scored 19 of his 29 points in the third quarter as the San Antonio Spurs rallied for a 96-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who lost All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and home-court advantage in Game Three of the Western Conference finals.
Duncan continued to display the dominance that has made him a two-time MVP, collecting 34 points, 24 rebounds, six assists and six blocks. But Parker stunned the Mavs with his performance in the third quarter and helped the Spurs to a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
"I just wanted to make sure I was more aggressive in the second half," he said. "When you play with Timmy, it's easy. You get a lot of open shots because he draws a lot of double-teams and he's so dominant."
"(Parker) was great, hitting his shots, being aggressive in the open court," Duncan said. "Tony took it upon himself to push it up the court and make them pay."
Parker made 8-of-11 shots in the period, scoring from every conceivable spot on the floor. He beat Steve Nash regularly off the dribble and buried contested jumpers over Dallas' bigger defenders.
"Anytime you give someone 19 points in the third and it's not Tim Duncan, you're in trouble," Mavs guard Raja Bell said.
"Tony's been doing that for us all year," Spurs guard Stephen Jackson said. "There's times where Tony just takes over games. He did a great job of that tonight. He knew what was at stake and kept the pressure on them in the second half."
The Mavericks had a 54-44 lead with 9:22 left in the third before Parker scored seven points during a 15-2 run. He buried a jumper to cap the spurt and give the Spurs a 59-56 lead with 4:43 to go.
Parker closed the quarter with two free throws to make it 69-66 and spark a 14-0 burst that carried into the final period.
Parker missed a 3-pointer with 8:05 remaining and Nowitzki grabbed the rebound but collided San Antonio's Manu Ginobili. Nowitzki fell to the floor and dragged himself off the court while Duncan blocked Raef LaFrentz's layup at the other end.
Duncan followed with a jumper and was fouled by LaFrentz. He buried the ensuing free throw for an 81-66 lead with 7:45 remaining, and Nowitzki was carried off the court.
Nowitzki was carted to the locker room and left the arena on crutches after the game. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday.
"I don't really know what happened," Nowitzki said. "I don't know what I did. I 've never had a knee injury before, so really, the pain is new to me. I couldn't move my leg anymore. It's a bad break, but we'll just have to see how it feels (Saturday)."
"The news on Dirk Nowitzki is not good," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "I wouldn't expect that he would play the next game and I wouldn't be sure that he would play in the series."
Bruce Bowen scored 13 points and Jackson added 12 for the top-seeded Spurs, who held a commanding 59-36 rebounding advantage. They reclaimed the home-court advantage they lost in the series opener.
San Antonio scored 52 points in the paint and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds leading to 23 points. The Spurs made 19-of-26 free throws while the Mavs were just 4-of-6 from the line on their own floor.
Dallas continued its strategy of intentionally fouling Bowen, who shot just 40 percent from line during the season. He made 5-of-6 free throws during an 11-0 run that stretched San Antonio's lead to 94-74 with 3:28 left.
Nick Van Exel had 16 points and Nowitzki added 15 and nine rebounds before exiting as the Mavericks placed six players in double figures but fell well below their postseason scoring average.
Bell scored 14 points, Michael Finley added 11 and Nash had 10 points and nine assists but was thoroughly outplayed by Parker.
Game Four is Sunday at the American Airlines Center.
San Antonio had a 26-22 edge less than three minutes into the second quarter, but Dallas scored 20 of the next 26 points to take a 42-32 lead with 2:37 left.
Van Exel scored 13 points in the quarter and the Mavs shot 12-for-23. They had their largest lead at 49-38 after Bell opened the second half with a 3-pointer but made just 14-of-40 shots thereafter.
"The main thing was they turned it up defensively," said Finley, who was 4-of-11 from the field. "Their defense went up to a notch that I haven't seen in the series thus far. They picked their game up and we were unable to match it."