Spurs spoil Nowitzki's return
SAN ANTONIO — Dirk Nowitzki wasn't expecting to play much during his season debut Sunday night against the San Antonio Spurs.
Still, after missing the Dallas Mavericks' first 27 regular-season games, he didn't expect to take a seat on the bench after 20 minutes with the game completely out of hand.
"In the middle of the third we were down by 80, so I didn't really have to go back in," Nowitzki said, exaggerating the Mavs' largest deficit just a bit.
Danny Green scored a career-high 25 points and the Spurs spoiled Nowitzki's season debut with a 129-91 rout of the Mavericks.
San Antonio's largest lead was actually 46, but the deficit seemed larger to Dallas.
"We got a (butt-kicking), that's it," Shawn Marion said. "No need to explain it ... it was an old-fashioned (butt-kicking)."
The Spurs set a franchise record with 20 3-pointers, besting the record of 19 they set Dec. 8 in Charlotte. San Antonio also set a season high for largest margin of victory.
Tony Parker had 18 points, Kawhi Leonard added 17, Tim Duncan 15 and Stephen Jackson 14 for the Spurs (21-8).
Darren Collison scored 15 points to lead Dallas (12-16), which lost its third straight. Vince Carter added 13 points and Chris Kaman had 10.
San Antonio also had 33 assists, a season-high 17 steals and forced 20 turnovers.
It came on the night Nowitzki returned following surgery on his right knee Oct. 19 after battling soreness the previous season.
Clippers 103, Suns 77
At Phoenix, Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists and Los Angeles extended a franchise record with its 13th consecutive victory.
Reserve Jamal Crawford added 22 points for the Clippers, who won in Phoenix for the first time since April 17, 2007. Los Angeles' overall win streak is an NBA season best and its six straight road victories are also a franchise best.
Knicks 94, Timberwolves 91
At New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, rallying New York to a victory over Minnesota.
New York trailed from the opening minutes until Anthony scored eight straight points down the stretch. He had scored just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting in the first half, but had the final 12 for the Knicks to give them a 4-2 finish on their six-game homestand.
Nets 95, 76ers 92
At New York, Joe Johnson scored 22 points, and Gerald Wallace had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists to lead Brooklyn to a win over Philadelphia.
Deron Williams added 16 points to help the Nets end a six-game skid at home against the 76ers.
Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia with 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Thadeus Young added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Evan Turner had 15 points and seven rebounds. The 76ers, opening an eight-game trip, have lost six of their last seven games.
Jazz 97, Magic 93
At Orlando, Fla., Paul Millsap scored 18 points, Gordon Hayward added 17 and Utah survived a fourth-quarter rally to slip past Orlando.
Orlando cut the lead to one in the waning seconds, but came up empty at the foul line.
Utah snapped a two-game losing streak with its fifth consecutive regular-season victory over Orlando. The Jazz played without point guard Mo Williams, out indefinitely with a thumb injury.