DALLAS -- The Mavs' dominance of their former nemesis continues.
These aren't the same San Antonio Spurs that Dallas dismissed in five games last spring. Not with Manu Ginobili in Hall of Fame form instead of street clothes.
But the result was similar, at least in Game 1 of the I-35 Series' fifth edition.
Mavs 100, Spurs 94.
Gregg Popovich decided last spring to force somebody other than Dirk Nowitzki to defeat the Spurs, doubling the Mavs' MVP almost every time he touched the ball. That didn't work.
Pop opted to play Dirk straight up for most of this game. And that worked even worse, with Dirk dropping a ridiculously efficient 36 points on the Spurs, making 12 of 14 shots from the floor and all 12 free throw attempts.
With Dirk leading the way, the Mavs have seized control of the series against a team they've defeated in nine of the last 11 games.