This must be looking like a bad rerun to the Dallas Mavericks.

For the eighth straight time, the Mavs went up against San Antonio, and for the eighth straight time the Spurs proved they were the better team.

Tony Parker, fresh off a six-game layoff to rest his aching body, returned just in time to add more misery to the Mavs and pace the Spurs to a 112-106 victory at the AT&T Center.

The loss was the second in a row for the Mavs (36-25) after they had won 10 of 12 games.

But even on a night when the Mavs committed just seven turnovers and shot the same shooting percentage as the Spurs, they couldn’t come with any key defensive stops when the game was still up for grabs.

“This effort is good enough to beat a lot of teams, but not them with the way they played tonight,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ve got to look at our team and look at where we are and where we’re trying to get to.

“I’m disappointed by the results, but not the effort. I thought the effort was good. We’ve got one more shot at these guys at our place [on April 10] and we’ll be ready for that.”

The Mavs hope they’re still in the playoff race then. The Mavs are tied with Memphis (33-25) in the loss column for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The way the Mavs stayed within striking distance of the Spurs, they appeared to be ready to fight fire with fire Sunday.

Despite not being able to chase the Spurs off the 3-point line for 48 minutes, the Mavs were only trailing 104-99 with 1:19 left following a driving layup by Monta Ellis, who had 17 points and eight assists.

But on the next possession, Boris Diaw misfired on a 3-pointer, opening the door for the Mavs. However, the Mavericks failed to box out and Diaw rebounded, and passed to Parker, who knifed through for a layup and a 106-99 lead with 45.8 seconds to go.

“At that point you have to get a stop ... that was kind of deflating right there,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. “But I don’t even know if we get the ball if we still have a shot to win it because they are so good down the stretch.

“But that definitely was a big tip we should have somehow come up with it.”