Spurs forced to play at Mavs' pace

April, 27, 2010
4/27/10
9:47
PM CT
DALLAS -- Can the Mavs hold a halftime lead?

For the second consecutive game, the Mavs built a double-digit lead before the break, although the Spurs trimmed it to seven with a Tony Parker-fueled 11-2 run to end the half.

The Mavs fell apart in the third quarter of Game 4. If that happens tonight, they'll be on a beach in a couple of days.

Caron Butler, who has struggled since the series opener, carried the Mavs in the first half. He has a game-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

Dallas dictated the tempo in the first half, getting into transition on a consistent basis. They're in good shape if they can get another 16 fast break points in the second half.

The key is keeping the same level of defensive energy. The Mavs have held the Spurs to 44 percent shooting, forced eight turnovers and controlled the boards by a 26-19 margin.

Now the challenge is to continue doing those things after Gregg Popovich gets to make halftime adjustments.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9