SAN ANTONIO - Dirk Nowitzki has seen this before from Tim Duncan. The Spurs star had another typically excellent game. His totals: 31 points, 15 rebounds — good enough to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 97-94 win over their in-state rival on Thursday night.
"He was just being himself," said Nowitzki, who had 28 points in the loss.
The Spurs won their seventh in a row and snapped Dallas' three-game winning streak to increase their lead in a tight Southwest Division, where just 2 1/2 games separate San Antonio from the fourth-place Houston Rockets.
The Spurs also got 17 points from Manu Ginobili and 16 from Michael Finley.
"(Duncan) had us going all night," Nowitzki said. "He was definitely a big factor for them."
In other NBA games Thursday night, New Jersey beat Milwaukee 120-106 in Devin Harris' first appearance for the Nets, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami 106-88.
The Mavericks are 3-2 since acquiring guard Jason Kidd from New Jersey. Kidd had 10 assists and seven points. Josh Howard and reserve Brandon Bass each added 16 for Dallas.
"A heavyweight fight," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "Just didn't have that last punch there at the end."
The Mavericks plan to have Kidd better integrated before their final regular-season game against the Spurs in Dallas next month.
"This game didn't mean much, we'll see them again," Dallas guard Jason Terry said. "We're still a work in progress. We'll be the better team next time."
The Spurs were up 73-72 heading into the fourth quarter. With the game tied at 94, Erick Dampier fouled Duncan, who sank both free throws to put San Antonio up 96-94 with 34.5 seconds to go.
Nowitzki missed two shots with less than 30 seconds on the clock, and Terry's shot was blocked by Bruce Bowen with 3.9 seconds left. The Spurs got the ball back with 3.3 seconds to go, and Dampier fouled Finley with 0.4 seconds left. Finley hit the first of two from the line.
"Both teams could have easily come out with wins," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We're thrilled to get the victory, but it certainly was anybody's ball game. That's for sure."
Kidd sat out the last 30 seconds, but said he supported the decision.
"They've been together down the stretch," Kidd said. "I understand what play they're looking for, so I'm over here cheering for my guys to knock down a 2 or a 3."
The game was tied four times in the fourth quarter as the teams traded baskets and neither took a lead of more than five points.
After coming out of halftime tied at 47 and staying close more than 5 minutes into the third quarter, each team took turns holding the momentum.
The Mavericks went up by 10 after a 16-4 run that included a 3 from Nowitzki off a feed from Kidd and ended with a goaltending call against Robert Horry that gave Terry a basket and put Dallas up 67-57 with 3:44 to play.
But the Spurs answered with a 13-1 run, including two free throws thanks to technicals called on Terry and Johnson in an increasingly testy atmosphere. Finley scored nine points in the surge that gave San Antonio a 70-68 lead with 1:20 to go.
"We turned the ball over, we missed some shots and they made a run," Kidd said. "For them they never panicked. They just keep coming. So this is a great lesson for us to learn."
Nets 120, Bucks 106
In East Rutherford, N.J., Stepping on the court for the first time since being acquired last week in an eight-player trade for Kidd, Harris scored 16 of his 21 points in a spectacular game-changing early spurt for New Jersey.
"I was very anxious to get out there," said Harris, who hit all six of his shots in the first half. "I was running a mile a minute and I was glad I got the start I did in the first half. I just felt good and everything was going in."
Harris, who added five assists in just under 21 minutes, also heard an old chant from the crowd at the Izod Center in the waning seconds.
"Dev-in Harris! Dev-in Harris!"
"That was like college," Harris said. "I hadn't heard that since I left Wisconsin. Like I said, I don't want to replace anybody. I just want to be myself and play as hard as I can and get them to accept me for who I am."
Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson added 19 points apiece and Bostjan Nachbar scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to help New Jersey beat the Bucks for the third straight time this season.
Michael Redd had 33 points, Mo Williams added 24 and Andrew Bogut had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks.
Lakers 106, Heat 88
In Los Angeles, Jordan Farmar scored a career-high 24 points, Kobe Bryant added 21 and the Lakers extended their winning streak to a season-best 10 games.
The Lakers (41-17) maintained their one-game lead over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs for best record in the Western Conference, and lead Phoenix and New Orleans by two. Just 6 1/2 games separate the top nine teams in the West.
Dwyane Wade had 18 points for Miami.