Sunday, April 20, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Spurs 90, Mavs 85
By Tim MacMahon
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs slammed the door on the Dallas Mavericks’ Game 1 upset bid, as the West’s top seed dominated down the stretch of a 90-85 win.
How it happened: The Mavs became a mess after building a double-digit lead.
After Brandan Wright’s and-1 free throw put the Mavs up 10 points with 7:45 remaining, the Spurs locked down defensively, holding Dallas scoreless for the next five minutes, 40 seconds. San Antonio seized the lead for good by scoring 15 points during that span, including seven by future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan.
Dallas didn’t score again from the floor after Wright’s bucket until Devin Harris’ meaningless layup with one-tenth of a second on the clock.
It was a sensational outing for Duncan, other than a scare when he banged knees with Mavs guard Monta Ellis during the third quarter, sidelining him briefly. Duncan scored a game-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs’ future Hall of Fame power forward, couldn’t come close to matching his longtime foe. Nowitzki never got in a groove, scoring only 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting.
After a slow start, the Mavs got a big boost from their bench, which scored 46 points. Harris had 13 of his team-high 19 points in the first half.
However, the Spurs got big games from the foundation of their last few championship teams. Tony Parker (21 points, six assists) and Manu Ginobili (17 points) served as sensational complements to Duncan.
What it means: The Spurs took a 1-0 series lead, extending their overall winning streak against the Mavs to 10 games. Dallas still hasn’t won a playoff game since clinching the 2011 championship in Miami.
Play of the game: After Nowitzki missed a wide-open layup, Duncan grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass to Parker to spark a one-man fast break. Parker spun past Harris in the lane and finished with a right-handed layup to give the Spurs the lead with 3:25 to go.
Stat of the day: Ellis’ plus-minus was minus-23 in 36 minutes.