Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
DALLAS MAVERICKS vs SAN ANTONIO SPURS Preview
Game 3- Series tied 1-1
The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs continue their first-round series at the American Airlines Center for Game 3 on April 26, which tips off at 4:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
The NBA-leading Spurs are lucky enough to escape the first two games tied at one rather than finding themselves down 0-2, which the Mavs know they should be.
Dallas led for the majority of Game 2, including a 15-point lead before the Spurs ended the first half on a 10-0 run. San Antonio got within seven in the third quarter, but no closer as the Mavs tied it up with a 113-92 win.
Monta Ellis led five players in double figures with 21 points and Jose Calderon scored all 12 of his points in the third. Shawn Marion added 20.
Manu Ginobili had a game-high 27 points, but the Spurs only got 41 points from their starters while the Mavs’ starters scored 73.
The Spurs committed 24 turnovers, which led to 33 points for Dallas, a season high.
Dallas should be up 2-0.
The Mavericks led 81-71 with 7:45 remaining in Game 1, but finished 1-of-13 from the floor while the Spurs ended on a 19-4 run for a 90-85 victory.
Tim Duncan scored a game-high 27 points, but was limited to 11 in Game 2. Tony Parker scored 17 of his 21 in the first half and Ginobili led the Spurs’ bench with 17.
Devin Harris scored 18 in Game 2 and had a team-high 19 in Game 1. He scored 13 in the first half, 11 during a 15-0 spurt that saw the Mavs down 21-9 late in the first to up 24-21 in the second.
Dallas returns home at the AAC, where it was 26-15 during the regular season. The Spurs were a league-best 30-11 on the road.
WHERE’S DIRK: Dirk Nowitzki has struggled to find a rhythm so far in the series, scoring 27 points in the first two games for an average of 13.5 a game and is shooting 33 percent (11-of-33). The fact that the Mavs are tied and were on the verge of a 2-0 lead with their star player struggling is actually a good sign. Dirk is only 1-of-2 from downtown and 4-of-5 from the line. He averaged 1.6 threes on 4.1 attempts, and 4.2 free throws on 4.7 attempts during the regular season. His 11 points in Game 1 was tied for his fourth fewest in his playoff career, second lowest in the postseason against the Spurs. Dirk should fare better at home, where he’s averaging 25 points in his last five-home playoff games.
STREAKS SNAPPED: The Mavericks finally got the monkey of their backs with the win in Game 2. It snapped a 10-game losing streak to their in-state rivals, but it also snapped two other significant losing skids. Dallas entered Game 2 having lost eight straight in San Antonio and five straight in the playoffs. The Mavs were swept by the Thunder in the 2012 first round.
Last win vs the Spurs- March 17, 2012
Last playoff win- Game 6 of 2011 Finals, June 12, 2011
Last win in San Antonio- Nov. 26, 2010
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: The Dallas Mavericks didn’t play well at home to end the regular season. In their last 10 home games, the Mavs are just 5-5, which included 4-4 during a franchise-record eight-game home stand from March 17-April 1. During the home stand, the Mavs played in four overtime games, going 1-3. They also lost to the Clippers on March 27 after leading by 10 in the fourth quarter, so it’s not like Dallas got outmatched. The Mavericks also lost to the Spurs on April 10, 109-100, making the Spurs 2-0 in Dallas this year, winning each by nine points. Finally, the Mavericks won their home finale against the Suns on April 12, 101-98, after trailing by as much as 13 points.
PLAYOFF MILESTONES: Nowitzki ranks in the top-25 in career playoff points, rebounds, 3-pointers and free throws. With his 3-pointer in Game 2, Nowitzki cracked the top-25 in playoff threes, putting him in a tie with Clyde Drexler with 141. He has a chance to jump from 25th to 21st in this series as he needs 12 treys to pass former Maverick Sam Perkins. I don’t see him jumping any spots in any other category during this first-round series.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS-