Dallas Mavericks: 15 best playoff moments in franchise history

By Noah Rubinstein
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks best playoff moment: 3. 2006 Western Conference Semifinals Game 7

The 2006 Western Conference Semifinals was a series for the ages. Many folks around the NBA deemed the second-round matchup between the Mavericks and Spurs the real Western Conference finals.

The first six games of the series lived up to expectations. Five of the six finished with a five-point or less margin. The Mavericks were up 3-2 going into game six at home in Dallas, but the Spurs won behind 30 points from Manu Ginobili. Game seven would be no easy task, especially in San Antonio.

The Spurs had been the Mavs “big brother” in the past, and it seemed that the Spurs were destined to knock out the Mavs again. Dallas was able to start off strong and go into halftime up 64-50. Unfortunately, Dallas lost the lead with 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter when Manu Ginobili hit a three to put the Spurs up 104-101.

It felt like history was about to repeat itself until Dirk made one of the most memorable plays as Ginobili made one of the most head-scratching fouls. The Mavs had never beat the Spurs in the playoffs, but Nowitzki drove to the basket around Bruce Bowen before finishing a layup while being hit hard by Manu Ginobili.

Dirk made the free throw and the Mavericks continued their impressive play to win in overtime. Beating the mighty Spurs for the first time and getting over that hump was immense for the organization and for the Mavs GOAT’s career.