Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Mavericks [Print without images]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Battle of 3s key to Mavs prevailing

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- In Game 1 both defenses did a good job of limiting the offenses' looks from the 3-point arc. San Antonio Spurs average 18.9 3-pointers a game, but were just 4-of-11, while the Dallas Mavericks shoot 18.3 a game and finished 5-of-14.

"The 3 is a big factor in every playoff series going on. The teams that are making eight or 10 are winning their games," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "If you’re making more than 10 you’re really in a strong position. Our series is no different than any other. We've got to do a good job defending it. The Spurs are talking about the same thing. They will want to shoot more than 11 tonight and we're going to have to defend well to keep them at another reasonable number."

Only Manu Ginobili had success from long range for the Spurs in Game 1, making 3-of-7. Only Matt Bonner, something of a 3-point specialist, even got off as many as two 3-balls.

For the Mavs, Jason Kidd continued his assualt from the arc, hitting 3-of-6, while Caron Butler and Jason Terry combined to go 2-of-7. Shawn Marion (0-of-1) was the only other Mavs player to attempt one.

That's the key for the whole entire series. Regardless of what we do, we have to win the battle at the 3-point line. And we have to win the battle of points in the paint. So our emphasis tonight is get back in transition and not allow them to get easy 3-point shots.

"That's the key for the whole entire series," Terry said. "Regardless of what we do, we have to win the battle at the 3-point line. And we have to win the battle of points in the paint (50-34 Spurs in Game 1). So our emphasis tonight is get back in transition and not allow them to get easy 3-point shots."