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NBA: Mavericks got away with defensive three-second violation during key stop against Spurs

Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs forwards Kawhi Leonard, second from right, and LaMarcus Aldridge, left, tangle with Dallas Mavericks forwards Dorian Finney-Smith, right, and Dwight Powell during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in San Antonio. Dallas won 105-101. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

AP

After Dallas lost 12 straight in San Antonio, these Mavericks beat these Spurs on Sunday, prompting a widespread response:

How?

Dallas played well in its 105-101 win, but favorable late-game officiating didn’t hurt, either.

Mavericks guard Devin Harris got away with a defensive three-second violation with 1:13 left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harris (DAL) is in the paint without actively guarding an opponent for longer than three seconds.

Harris floated close enough to LaMarcus Aldridge, who was posting up Dirk Nowitzki on the left block, to dissuade Aldridge from pulling his trademark move, turning over his right shoulder for a shot. But Harris wasn’t close enough (arm’s length) to avoid a violation by legally double-teaming Aldridge.

Aldridge kicked the ball out. San Antonio missed, and Dallas grabbed the defensive rebound.

A correct call would’ve given the Spurs a single free throw from their choice of player on the floor -- likely Kawhi Leonard, who’s shooting 91% from the line this season and 85% for his career. San Antonio also would’ve gotten the ball with a fresh shot clock.

The Spurs trailed by just two when they had to intentionally foul.

Correction: This article has been updated to properly reflect the consequences of a correct call.