Surging Mavericks Look To Take Commanding Series Lead
By Brian Gosset
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
DALLAS MAVERICKS vs SAN ANTONIO SPURS- Game 4 Preview
Mavericks lead series 2-1
The Dallas Mavericks once again host the San Antonio Spurs for Game 4 on April 28, and look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead after winning the last two games.
Game 4 tips off on TNT at 9:30 p.m. ET.
After a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Vince Carter hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Mavs a 109-108 win in Game 3 on April 26.
Dallas has now won two straight against the Spurs after losing the previous 10.
The Mavericks came out firing in the third quarter of Game 2, on their way to a 21-point victory to tie the series in San Antonio. It marked the biggest road win for an 8-seed over a 1-seed in NBA history.
During the fourth quarter of Game 3, the two teams battled for 10 lead changes and 12 ties.
Monta Ellis led five players in double figures with a playoff-career-high 29 points, 12 in the final 6:35. Down 102-98, Ellis made an and-1 bucket on Boris Diaw, hitting the bonus and tying the game.
Manu Ginobili gave the Spurs the 104-102 lead, but the Mavs came down and got an offensive rebound from Samuel Dalembert, which led to a shooting foul on the big man. He knocked down both to tie it again.
Ginobili had the ball on the next possession and was able to get Diaw free for a jumper, giving the Spurs another lead 106-104.
The Mavericks went right back to Ellis, who drove inside the lane and hit a right-handed floater over Tim Duncan, tying the game at 106 with 24 seconds left.
Ginobili then hit the go-ahead basket, a 6-foot bank shot over Dalembert with 1.7 left.
After some time to set up a final play, Jose Calderon passed it in to Carter on the left wing. Carter moved to the left corner, got Ginobili up in the air with one pump and heaved the ball, swishing it through the net as the backboard lit up red.
In was Carter’s first go-ahead basket in the final 1:00 of a playoff game. It also made him the oldest player (37-years-old) to hit a buzzer beater in a playoff game in the last 15 years.
In Game 2 in San Antonio, Dallas got 21 from Ellis and 18 from Devin Harris as the Mavs went up as much as 16 in the third, on their way to a 113-92 victory.
The Mavericks went up as much as 24 in the fourth. Shawn Marion finished with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting while Dejuan Blair added eight points, seven boards and four steals in just 14 minutes off the bench.
Dallas went up 56-41 in the second before the Spurs went into half on a 10-0 run.
Dallas scored a season-high 33 points off turnovers as the Spurs committed a season-worst 24 of them.
DIRK MAKES HIS RETURN…SORT OF: After shooting 33 percent (11-of-33) for 27 points in the first two games combined, Dirk Nowitzki shot an efficient 7-of-13 for 18 points in Game 3. Without a big game yet for Dirk, who averaged 21.7 in the regular season, it just shows the balance that this team has…something the 2011 Mavs had. Fear not though, Dirk will hit his season average and more and when he does…it’ll be that much sweeter. Nowitzki was averaging 25 points in his previous five home-playoff games, and averaged 22.7 at home this season.
BIG QUARTERS FOR JOSE: Calderon is finally heating up, having two of his biggest quarters of the year in the past two games. He was able to knock down five straight for 12 points in the decisive third quarter of Game 2, then after the Mavs struggled in the first of Game 3, Calderon helped keep Dallas in it with 10 of his own. Both quarters surpassed his Game 1 total of seven. Another great thing Calderon did in Game 3 was space the floor and distribute, as he dished out a game-high nine dimes. The 16 points was his most since scoring 19 on April 3, and the 28 points in the two-game stretch is his most since scoring 30 on April 3 and April 4. His nine assists were his most since dishing out 10 back on Feb. 21.
SECOND QUARTER: In this series, the Mavericks have owned the second quarter, which has led to three-halftime leads. In all three games, the Mavs have started rather slow in the first, trailing in Game 1 and 3 and leading by one in Game 2. Dallas is able to find its groove in all three second quarters, scoring 32 in all three and outscoring the Spurs 96-70. In Game 1, it was a 15-0 run, the first 12 of the second that got them off the hump and back into the game. Dallas outscored San Antonio 32-22 in the quarter and led 44-43 at halftime. In Game 2, the Mavs outscored the Spurs 32-15 in the first 9:30 of the second to get to that 15-point lead before the Spurs ended on their 10-0 run. Dallas led 56-51 at the break. After going down 47-41, the Mavs finished out the second quarter of Game 3 on an 18-7 run and once again held a five-point halftime lead, 59-54.
VINCE CARTER’S REDEMPTION: Thanks to Max Frishberg (@MaxaMillion711) for making this awesome video of Vince Carter, who missed a similar Game 3 shot back in his early days with the Raptors.
INTERSTELLAR: Thanks to the Dallas Mavericks, who made this video on their YouTube page (narrated by Matthew McConaughey)
Game 5: Mavs @ Spurs – Wednesday, April 30th
Game 6: Spurs @ Mavs – Friday, May 2nd (If Necessary)
Game 7: Mavs @ Spurs – Sunday, May 4th (If Necessary)
You can check out everything Mavs’ playoffs at the Mavs HQ
A lot of stuff up, including a Q&A with Mark Followill aka “The Voice of the Mavericks”