DALLAS MAVERICKS vs SAN ANTONIO SPURS Recap- May 4
Spurs win series 4-3 – Face Portland Trail Blazers in Western Conference Semifinals
The Mavericks held a lead for all of 19 seconds in Game 7. Dirk Nowitzki made the first basket of the game to put Dallas up 2-0. On the next possession, Tim Duncan tied it up following an offensive rebound and that was all she wrote.
Duncan had 15 points and eight rebounds but was not the story of the game. Tony Parker was not ready for an early summer vacation and came to play scoring a game-high 32 points on an efficient 11-19 shooting. He got nearly everything he wanted but completely carved up the Dallas “D” inside. Seven of his 11 makes came in the paint, with six coming around the rim. He certainly saved his best for last as he averaged 17.8 PPG through Game 6.
At the end of the first quarter, the Spurs led by 12 but it felt like it should have been a much larger lead. San Antonio shot 68.4 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just twice. Dallas had just three turnovers but missed 14 of 24 attempts. Nowitzki wanted to get into his offensive rhythm early by taking eight first quarter shots but connected on just three attempts.
Perhaps the biggest reason why the Mavericks couldn’t get into their groove on offense was because Monta Ellis picked up two personal fouls eight minutes into the game. Early foul trouble prevented him from being aggressive on both ends of the court. Eliminate his ability to drive to the rim and the Mavericks become very predictable: jump shots all around. Ellis finished with 12 points on 3-11 shooting (his worst shooting performance this series) and five personal fouls.
San Antonio led by as many as 29 points in the second quarter. Nowitzki played nearly the entire period and did his part to try to make it a game by scoring 10 points on 3-5 shooting and connected on all four free throw attempts. However, the rest of the team scored just 13 points and turned the ball over five times.
Parker matched Nowtizki’s 10 points but it was Ginobili’s all-around game that was the difference. He had seven points, three assists and four steals. The Spurs outscored the Mavericks by 18 points in the second with Ginobili on the court, the best plus-minus of any player in the period.
The Mavericks began the third down by 22 and Rick Carlisle went small to start the second half. Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, Ellis, Vince Carter and Nowitzki got off to a quick start making three of their first five three-point attempts and cut the lead down to 14 after a Carter finger roll. That was the closest they’d get the rest of the game. Gregg Popovich countered with his own small lineup by subbing in Ginobili for Duncan and the Spurs regained control of the game for good.
It looked promising for a brief moment but the four-time champions went into the final quarter of the Mavericks season with a 26-point lead. San Antonio got up by as many as 31 in the fourth and finished what was a compelling seven-game series with a 23-point win. Easily the biggest Game-7 victory in Spurs history and the worst Game-7 loss in Mavericks history.
DIRK CAN’T CONNECT FROM DEEP: Nowitzki went a lousy 1-10 from beyond the arc this series. His only make came in their Game 2 blowout win in San Antonio. The trailer three that was such an important part of his game during the regular season was non-existent as the Spurs bigs anticipated the play developing well ahead of time and did a good job of preventing him from hoisting a shot in transition.
GETTING CHIPPY: DeJuan Blair and Jae Crowder were called for flagrant fouls on Ginobili and Parker respectively. Blair’s foul against Ginobili was questionable as he did not appear to intentionally come down on his head while trying to block his layup. Crowder’s was a no-brainer as he almost gouged Parker’s eyes out.
WAR OF WORDS: Near the end of the first quarter, Parker drove right past Blair and finished at the rim. He had a few words for Blair on the way back to the defensive end and the refs took notice. Parker was assessed the technical foul for taunting but it in no way killed the Spurs’ momentum. After the clock hit triple zero, the broadcast showed the two hugging it out.
BET ON GREEN: Danny Green was a non factor in the first five games of the series averaging 3.4 PPG. Over the last two, he averaged 16.5 PPG and was 6-8 from beyond the arc. He had just five three pointers in the first five games of the series. Those two misses from three over the last two games were his only misses.
STARTERS DON’T HELP DIRK: Calderon, Shawn Marion and Samuel Dalembert combined for just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. Calderon missed both of his three point attempts, Marion had two of the Mavs starters five turnovers and Dalembert played eight minutes. He did have four offensive rebounds but Dallas scored just once on those second chances.