NBA playoffs: Inspirational Parker propels Spurs to win over Mavericks
Injured guard pops in 23 points just hours after first child is born.
Published: April 30, 2014 10:38PM
Updated: April 30, 2014 11:14PM
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San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green (4) celebrates with teammate Tony Parker, right, of France, during the second half of Game 5 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 109-103. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

San Antonio • Tony Parker was nursing a sprained left ankle and playing a critical playoff game on no sleep only hours after the birth of his first child.

It was the perfect formula for a resurgent performance from the San Antonio Spurs point guard.

Parker had 23 points and five assists and San Antonio never trailed in a 109-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.

“Coming into the game I told him this is perfect for you,” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. “This is what he does in situations like this where he doesn’t get a lot of sleep or is in a stressful situation. He always seems to play better. I somewhat expected it from him.

“He was really excited before the game. Obviously, he was really excited to have his son here and wanted to get this game really badly not only for his son but for the situation and the timing of it. He was really focused and it was good for us.”

Parker’s rebirth put San Antonio on the verge of closing out a tense series against its intrastate rival with Game 6 set for Friday in Dallas.

Vince Carter scored 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting for the Mavericks.

Carter’s 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pulled Dallas within 98-94 but Parker followed a minute later with his only 3-pointer of the game for a 101-94 advantage, punctuating the shot with a loud scream. His son Josh was born early in the morning to his fiancee Axelle Francine.

“It was crazy, ‘cause it happened last night, late,” Parker said. “I didn’t sleep. I basically didn’t sleep the whole night and just played on adrenaline today.”

After shooting 5 for 14 in scoring just 10 points in San Antonio’s Game 4 victory, Parker responded with a frantic start. He mixed in three driving layups and two mid-range jumpers to start the game making 5 of his first 7 shots. Parker’s drives helped the Spurs’ struggling offense maintain a consistent rhythm for the first time in the series.

Manu Ginobili had 19 points and Tiago Splitter added 17 points and 12 rebounds as San Antonio regained home-court advantage. Duncan added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard had 15 points for the Spurs.

After averaging 16 points in the series’ first four games, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki found the stroke in scoring 26 points on 10-for-20 shooting. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Parker and the Spurs returning to form.

Spurs 109, Mavericks 103

Dallas 26 23 22 32 — 103

S. Antonio 27 31 21 30 — 109

DALLAS (103)

Marion 3-10 0-0 6, Nowitzki 10-20 6-6 26, Dalembert 0-2 2-2 2, Calderon 3-9 0-0 8, Ellis 8-18 4-4 21, Wright 2-3 0-1 4, Harris 3-11 0-0 8, Carter 10-16 1-2 28, Crowder 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 39-89 13-15 103.

SAN ANTONIO (109)

Leonard 6-10 2-3 15, Duncan 7-16 2-4 16, Splitter 7-10 3-6 17, Parker 9-23 4-4 23, Green 2-2 0-0 6, Ginobili 6-14 4-6 19, Diaw 2-4 4-4 8, Belinelli 1-4 0-0 3, Mills 1-5 0-0 2, Bonner 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 41-88 19-27 109.

3-Point Goals—Dallas 12-28 (Carter 7-9, Calderon 2-5, Harris 2-6, Ellis 1-4, Nowitzki 0-2, Marion 0-2), San Antonio 8-16 (Ginobili 3-7, Green 2-2, Belinelli 1-1, Parker 1-1, Leonard 1-2, Mills 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Dallas 52 (Nowitzki 15), San Antonio 55 (Splitter, Duncan 12). Assists—Dallas 18 (Ellis 6), San Antonio 24 (Diaw 6). Total Fouls—Dallas 21, San Antonio 15. A—18,581 (18,797).