SAN ANTONIO (AP) – After a week on the road that saw the San Antonio Spurs win three out of four, San Antonio was back in the AT&T Center hosting the Dallas Mavericks.
The WWE Royal Rumble was going on across town at the same time, the Mavericks were also ready to rumble and pinned the Spurs to the mat with a 105-101 loss, only the second time they have lost back-to-back games this season.
This was the third meeting of the season between the two teams, but the first two times they didn't have Dirk Nowitzki.
The Spurs were able to fend off a first quarter barrage of three's from Dallas.
They hit 6 of 10 and the Mavs were up two late in the quarter until Manu Ginobili hit a three wtih 1.9 seconds left to give the Spurs a one point lead after the first quarter, 28-27.
Tony Parker had six in the quarter and then in the second quarter really got it going.
He had an up and under around Nowitzki and a couple of tear drops.
The Spurs got the lead to 15, Parker had 14 in the half and finished the game with 16, and the Spurs were up 10 59-49 at the half.
All the rumbling from the Mavericks happened in the second half.
The Mavericks came out of the locker room ready to get back into it.
They went on a 13-3 run and actually got the lead back with just over 4 minutes to play when Devin Harris hit a 16 footer to put Dallas up 73-72.
"Second half we didn't do a good job of playing defense, we got out scored both quarters," said Kawhi Leonard, who scored 24 points.
The Mavericks held the Spurs to just 22 points in the third quarter and 20 in the fourth but it wasn't the lack of scoring that had head coach Gregg Popovich upset after the game.
"To many mental errors defensively. I thought we did a really poor job discipline wise," said Popovich.
"Too many miscommunications," said Manu Ginobili, who scored 10 points.
The Spurs couldn't slow down Seth Curry who scored 24 or Harris Barnes who knocked down 19 points for the Mavericks.
There was some controversy down the stretch. With 31 seconds left and the Spurs down three Danny Green knocked the ball away from a Maverick, then the referee blew the whistle and indicated the Mavericks had called a time out.
"Has nothing to do with the game," said Popovich.
This was the second loss in a row to a sub .500 team. They lost to New Orleans Friday.
Going into tonight's game the Pelicans and Mavericks combined for 35 wins, one less than San Antonio.
"It doesn't matter who we lose to, it's always tough losing, we want to win every game," Leonard said.
It also didn't help that the Spurs, tied with Indiana as the top free throw shooting team in the league, only hit 15 for 23 and only they only made 8 out of 22 three point field goals.
The Spurs will look to bounce back when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night.