Rick Carlisle opted to start Elton Brand at center over Chris Kaman in the hopes of shoring up the Dallas defense inside and it mattered not as the San Antonio Spurs carved up the Dallas Mavericks inside and outside for a 113-107 victory at the AAC Friday night.
The score reflects a late surge by the Mavericks, who went on an 11-0 run near the end of the game, capping a 39-25 advantage in the fourth quarter, neither of which were enough to overcome complete dominance by the Spurs for most of the game. The Spurs led by as much as 26 points and Dallas was never close until the end of the game.
Despite playing without Tim Duncan, the Spurs had no problem scoring inside on Brand or anyone else as DeJuan Blair had a season-high 22 points, including 17 on 8-of-9 shooting in the first half and Tiago Splitter had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Tony Parker also missed a good portion of the game after taking an elbow in the eye requiring stitches but that didn’t stop him from racking up 23 points and dishing out 10 assists. Seven Spurs scored in double figures. The Spurs also played with little help from Coach Greg Popovich, who remains ill and Manu Ginobili, who just came back from injury but rested most of the game.
The Mavericks had a rare sighting of Roddy Beaubois’ talent as he led the team with 19 points. Vince Carter scored 17.
Brand grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked a couple of shots but only managed 8 points on 4-of-10 shooting while the Spurs centers had their way inside.
Full analysis coming up on The Smoking Cuban.