Mavs likely to face nervy finish to season in playoff race.
There were just two games on the NBA schedule on Thursday night, with the San Antonio Spurs edging closer to the top seed with a win over the Dallas Mavericks.
With Tony Parker sitting out with a back injury, it was left to back-up guard Patty Mills to lead the way for the visitors, as the Australian ace scored a game-high 26 points to help move the Spurs to the brink of securing home-court advantage through the playoffs.
Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds while Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to ensure it was a ninth straight regular season win for San Antonio over Dallas.
While the Mavericks will undoubtedly be focusing on securing their place in the post-season, there is also the question of avoiding finishing in eighth spot in order to avoid meeting the Spurs in the first round.
San Antonio are three-and-a-half games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the top of the Western Conference, while Dallas remain just a game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies for that final spot.
As a result, it promises to be a thrilling end to the season with plenty left to play for, as the Golden State Warriors were also in action on Thursday night and they missed out on their chance to seal playoff basketball.
Hosting the Denver Nuggets, Golden State wasted a 20-point lead in the first-half as the playoff party looked set to take place at the Oracle Arena, but Kenneth Faried had other ideas as he hit a turnaround hook shot over Draymond Green with a half-second remaining to seal the win.
Stephen Curry conceded that it “wasn’t how we envisioned the night going”, and they must now wait to have another crack at securing their place in the post-season and will also be keen to finish sixth with both the Phoenix Suns and Mavericks just a game behind.
San Antonio Spurs 109-100 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 100-99 Golden State Warriors