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Friday, April 30, 2010
Inside the numbers: Elimination edition

By Marc Stein

Inside the numbers of the Mavericks’ 97-87 Game 6 loss in San Antonio on Thursday night in what wound up as their final game of the 2009-10 season:

* Dirk Nowitzki's 33 points, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, give him six 30-point playoff games at the AT&T Center, tops among visiting players ahead of the Suns’ Amare Stoudemire (five) and the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (four).

* Elias also reports that it was the 13th time in Nowitzki’s career that he scored 30 or more points in a playoff game in which his team faced elimination. Only two other players in NBA history have scored 30 or more points in as many win-or-go-home games: Jerry West (14) and Wilt Chamberlain (13).

* The Mavericks, tops in the NBA during the regular season with a road record of 27-14, have lost 16 of their last 18 playoff games on the road.

* Dallas’ eight points in the first quarter tied the NBA’s record playoff first-quarter low in the shot-clock era (since 1954–55), matching Utah’s eight points in the first quarter against the Lakers on May 8, 1988.

* San Antonio outscored Dallas, 22-4, off turnovers and got 17 second-half points from George Hill.

* Mavs rookie Roddy Beaubois had five points in the first five games of the series before scoring 16 points in Game 6.

*Dallas’ Jason Kidd finished the postseason with 1,062 career playoff assists, tied with Larry Bird for the No. 3 spot in league history. Kidd, though, reached the total in only 121 playoffs. Bird needed 164. Magic Johnson is No. 1 all-time with 2,346 career playoff assists, followed by John Stockton with 1,839.

* The Spurs are 3-1 at home in the Tim Duncan era in Game 6s at home with a 3-2 series lead. The only loss occurred during the 2005 NBA Finals to Detroit, but San Antonio also had the luxury of playing Game 7 at home in that series and won it.

* Duncan, according to Elias, has now won 25 playoff series in his career, more than any other active player besides Shaquille O'Neal (32), Derek Fisher (29) and Kobe Bryant (27).

* The Spurs are still alive in their quest to be just the fourth NBA franchise – along with the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls – to win a fifth championship. A team seeded No. 7 in the playoffs has never won it all, but how many No. 7 seeds in NBA history have won four championships in the preceding 11 seasons?

“Give them a lot of credit,” Mavericks guard Jason Terry said. “That’s a first-class organization. They earned it. They deserved it. Nobody gave them a chance in this series and they proved everybody wrong.”

Said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle: “The West is so deep. There were no favorable matchups per se.”