(Reuters) ———-San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, starting in place of injured Tony Parker, took full advantage of the opportunity with a game-high 26 points and put a dent in the playoff hopes of the Dallas Mavericks with a 109-100 points win Thursday night.
Australian Mills, who made six three-pointers, scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Spurs outscored the Mavs 34-21 to reclaim the lead and closed out for an impressive road victory.
The Spurs (61-18) moved within one victory of clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference as they recorded a franchise-record 30th road victory.
The Mavs (48-32) are struggling just to make the playoffs. They have two games left, both against the two teams they are battling with for the final two playoff spots.
The magic number for Dallas to clinch a playoff spot remains two – any combination of Dallas wins and Memphis losses.
The defeat knocked the Mavericks back into the No. 8 spot, which in all likelihood would mean a first-round playoff matchup with the Spurs.
Dallas lost all four games to San Antonio this season.
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Nuggets 100, Warriors 99
Kenneth Faried hit a 10-foot turnaround jumper in the lane with half a second remaining to lift the Denver Nuggets to a stunning road victory that prevented the Golden State Warriors from clinching a playoff spot.
The Warriors appeared headed to their clinching win when Stephen Curry drove through the Denver defense to hit a five-foot flip shot that put Golden State up 99-98 with 4.7 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Faried took an inbounds pass and drove into the key guarded by Warriors forward Draymond Green. Faried then spun and connected from in front of the hoop to stun a Golden State crowd that was preparing to celebrate a return to the postseason.