Spurs stay on hot streak; UConn women’s streak snapped at 90

Tim Duncan (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

Tim Duncan (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

No disrespect to Caron Butler — who is one of our favorite guys to work with in the NBA and tougher than your first night in prison — but at this stage in his career, if he is your primary scoring option against a team like the San Antonio Spurs you’ll have to play an almost flawless game to win. Without Dirk Nowitzki (knee) in the lineup on Thursday, the Mavs had to lean on Caron (30 pts) against the Spurs, and they just didn’t play perfect enough to get the W … Meanwhile, the Spurs were overloaded with options. Tony Parker (14 pts) and Manu Ginobili (15 pts) did their thing, Gary Neal dropped 21 points and 5 triples, and Tim Duncan (17 pts, 11 rebs) had his moments where he took over to keep Dallas at arm’s length … As Pau Gasol builds up his ring count, Amar’e Stoudemire proves he’s pretty damn good without Steve Nash, and Blake Griffin leaves a trail of bodies in L.A., Duncan keeps sliding down the list of power forwards you’d want on your team right now. But just when you want to write him off, TD shows flashes of vintage dominance. During one stretch in the second half when the Mavs were threatening, San Antonio fed Duncan the ball on the block repeatedly and he put Tyson Chandler in the chamber of robotic buckets … Brian Cardinal started in place of Dirk. That may actually be the biggest drop-off in talent you can have in the League at the same position on the same team. Dirk is a Top 10 player in the NBA, and Cardinal has to be in the Bottom 10 … Jason Kidd posted his 106th career triple-double, finishing with 12 points, 10 boards and 13 assists. Fun fact: J-Kidd’s first triple-double was on April 5, 1995, in a Mavs win over the Lakers. Dallas’ starting lineup that night? Kidd, Lucious Harris, Jamal Mashburn, Popeye Jones and Lorenzo Williams. OKC Thunder coach Scott Brooks came off the bench for Dallas …

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