#1 Mavericks 109, Spurs 108 FINAL (April 26- Game 3)
Entering as the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks had to go up against Southwest rival…the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.
Nearly everyone outside the Mavericks’ organization gave them no chance to winning even a single game against Gregg Popovich’s team.
But when the Mavericks were half a quarter away from taking Game 1, up 81-71 in San Antonio, people still said the Mavs would be swept or at least win once.
Dallas would go on to lose Game 1, but rebounded for a Game 2 blowout, which then gave some critics a reason the Mavericks were something more.
The series moved to the American Airlines Center for Game 3 and 4, starting on April 26.
Dallas went up 16-10 early, but the Spurs led after the first quarter, 34-27.
As the second quarter got underway, the Spurs went up as much as 40-31, but for the third-straight game, someone scored 32 in the second, this time being the Mavs. Dallas would go on a 28-14 run to finish the half and led by five.
The Mavericks ended the second 4-of-6 from the field, including three 3-pointers.
San Antonio would regain the lead in the third quarter, but couldn’t score in the final two minutes, which the Mavericks would go up 77-74 entering the fourth.
The final 12 minutes would go down as one of the best in the long history of the Mavs-Spurs rivalry.
There was a remarkable 10 lead changes and 12 ties in the fourth, making it one of the best games of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
After the Mavs went up 94-91 with 5:35 left, the Spurs used the next 3+ minutes to take a 100-95 lead.
Trailing 102-99, Ellis drove and drew the and-1 basket against Boris Diaw with just 69 seconds remaining.
Ginobili went right back and got the ball off over Samuel Dalembert, just left of the basket. The ball went off the back-board and rolled around the rim a few times before dropping through the net to give the Spurs a 108-106 lead with 1.7 remaining.
After a few timeouts, Jose Calderon found Vince Carter, who took one dribble to the left corner. He pumped once and shot it over Ginobili, swishing it through the net as the clock hit triple zero.
Pandemonium erupted at the AAC as the Mavericks stormed around Carter, including Mark Cuban, who was more than ecstatic and grabbed Carter around the waist.
Dallas took a 2-1 series lead, which no one would see imaginable.
Ellis scored 12 points in the final quarter and a playoff-career-high 29 for Dallas.
Nowitzki added 18 while Carter had 11. Dalembert had a double-double with 13 and 10 while Calderon almost had one with 16 and nine assists.
It marked the first time Carter would hit a playoff game winner and made Vinsanity the oldest player in the last 15 years to do so at the buzzer.
Dallas would go on to take the Spurs to seven games, and was on the verge from sweeping San Antonio.
Top-5 Games Recap
#1– Carter’s buzzer beater vs Spurs
#2– Ellis’ 37/Dirk’s 35 rally Mavs past Rockets
#3– Dallas wins overtime thriller vs OKC
#4– Mavs clinch playoff spot in comback vs Suns
#5– Ellis drops NBA-best Trail Blazers at the buzzer
Honorable Mention– Dirk’s game winner over Melo, Knicks
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