Danny Green hit the Spurs' first attempt. It was a three off a drive-and-dish from Tony Parker. That was great to see. Tiago continued to play good defense on Dirk Nowitzki, who started 0-for-6, but the Spurs were careless with the ball, and five early turnovers turned into six points for the Mavs. The good guys converted six of their first 10 attempts while the Mavs were just 4-of-15, but the Spurs only had a 13-12 lead at the four minute mark. Pop was unhappy with his team and he put Ayres, Diaw, Marco, Ginobili, and Mills into the game. The Mavs made their next six field goal attempts, and even Dirk found the bottom of the net. Dallas won the quarter 24-23 after, get this, NINE San Antonio turnovers in the period.
Again the Spurs started the quarter with a three, this time from Patty Mills. The Spurs turned the ball over two more times early, and Devin Harris reprised his Game 1 role, scoring six points in the first three minutes of the second. A couple of minutes later Kawhi Leonard picked up his third foul and the Mavs took a 39-34 lead. The Spurs shot the ball 71.4% from the floor, but they were losing, which is crazy.
The first half was a horrible, awful, sloppy mess for the Spurs. Kawhi getting into foul trouble hurt, especially since his third foul was sort of a frustration foul as he gambled for a steal, but the 15 turnovers that gave the Mavs 19 points in the half hurt the most. Luckily, the Spurs still employ one of the all-time gamers in Manu Ginobili. He finished the half with 17 points on seven shots, which included a ten-point explosion from Gino in the last three minutes of the half. The Mavs went cold and the Spurs cut a 15-point deficit down to five going into the break.
The Spurs turned the ball over six more times in the third quarter, the Mavs knocked down some triples, and Dallas took a 13 point lead into the deciding period. It would have been worse, but Manu continued his amazing play. He scored 10 for the Spurs, hitting three triples and a free throw.
Popovich waved the white flag halfway through the fourth, and I thought he waited several minutes too long, after the Mavs took a 20-point lead and Tony Parker turned the ball over. That made it a full two-dozen turnovers for the Spurs. Pop cleared the bench and the game was over.
Let's put this one behind us. It's not like the Mavs forced a bunch of turnovers, it was mostly just sloppy play, and that can be tightened up. That's not to say it was all about the Spurs; the Mavs played a good, tough game. The Spurs shot 50% from the field, though it was the Big 3 once again that converted at a good clip.
I am a little bit worried about the role players. Where are they? Patty was 1-for-7 after going 1-for-4 in Game 1. Boris Diaw failed to impact the box score other than two turnovers and two buckets. Marco Belinelli finished the game minus-31 in his 29 minutes. To top it off, DeJuan Blair, who I assumed wouldn't see anymore playing time in the series, finished with eight points, seven boards, four steals and a plus-13 in his 14 minutes.
One last thing. Does anyone remember a team outshooting an opponent percentage wise and losing by 20+ points? Crazy.
If you're a masochist I'd recommend you check out Mavs Moneyball and see how happy the Dallas fans are.
Gregg Popovich Postgame Interview
Popovich on 24 turnovers and what caused them.
It's 24 turnovers. It's been something that's hurt us all year long. When we have games like that we've been unsuccessful. Tonight it was 24 turnovers for 33 points. That's been a weak link for us all year when we've lost a game and it showed up again tonight.
On Kawhi looking out of sorts
Sometimes a player doesn't have a great game.
On the role players not showing up
I don't know who you're referring to. Dallas played a great game. They played with great execution on the offensive end and we didn't guard well. It really showed up in the guard play with their three guards, they really hurt us. It's a bad combination to not play good defense at one end and give the ball up at the other end, and then not shoot free throws well either. That means you get your butt kicked and that's what happened tonight.