SAN ANTONIO — The Spurs rode the wide shoulders of Tim Duncan to victory.
The Mavericks were not going to let San Antonio beat them with 3-pointers, and they did not want Tony Parker using the lane as his personal playground. So the veteran Duncan overcame a brief injury scare to score 27 points. The Spurs held Dallas to one field goal in the final seven minutes to rally for a 90-85 win Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The Mavericks also went scoreless for 51/2; minutes during that stretch, their lone field goal coming with less than a second remaining.
San Antonio won despite going 3 for 17 on 3-pointers and getting only 23 points from its normally potent bench.
"We got killed on 3s in the first four outings this year," Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said. "It was no secret; we stayed home a little more on 3-point shooters, but you've got to give them something, and Duncan in there is obviously still solid."
Duncan scored nine points on 4-for-5 shooting from the paint in the final quarter to help the Spurs overcome a 10-point deficit.
"Timmy, he's not going to score 24 a game or anything like that," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's the base from which everything else occurs, whether he's scoring or not. It just gives us a comfort level and a point from which to operate. He plays (defense), rebounds, scores here and there. He just does his job."
Parker had 21 points, and Manu Ginobili added 17. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds for top-seeded San Antonio, which has won 10 straight against Dallas.
Devin Harris scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who nearly pulled off a huge upset.
The Spurs had insisted that what happens in the regular season doesn't matter, and they were proven right for much of the game — much to the home fans' dismay. Absent were the crisp passing, aggressive defense, bench scoring and 3-point shooting that made for the league's best record.
"It's always tough to change gears from the regular season to the playoffs when you're preparing for a team and they're preparing for you specifically," Duncan said.
San Antonio returned to its winning formula over the final seven minutes, taking an 86-81 lead with a 15-0 run. Splitter tied the game with five minutes remaining, rolling to the basket off a screen for an easy layup off a pass from Parker.
The All-Star point guard then drove the lane for a layup and drained a 13-foot jumper, which he punctuated with a loud scream after Dallas called timeout with 2:45 to go.
"I was able to push the ball and get some easy baskets," Parker said. "It got our confidence going, so once again defensively, the stops that we made helped us offensively."
Heat 99, Bobcats 88
At Miami, LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and the Miami Heat used a late charge to beat the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Chris Bosh scored 13 points and James Jones had 12 for the Heat. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday.
Kemba Walker scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who led by nine early and led again in the third. Al Jefferson missed eight of his final 13 shots after getting hurt in the first quarter. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who got 17 from Gary Neal and 15 from Josh McRoberts.
Miami sealed it with an 18-4 run in the fourth, all but three of those points coming with James getting a rest.
Wizards 103, Bulls 92
At Chicago, Nene dominated with 24 points, Trevor Ariza scored 18, and the Washington Wizards rallied from 13 down to beat the Chicago Bulls.
John Wall scored 16 in his postseason debut. Marcin Gortat added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and the fifth-seeded Wizards pulled out the victory even though they looked like they were ready to be blown out.
They cut a 13-point deficit to one in the third and trailed by three going into the fourth, before outscoring Chicago 18-6 over the final six minutes to come out on top in their first playoff appearance since 2008. Game 2 is Tuesday.