The Spurs got Kawhi Leonard involved early, allowing him to be aggressive in the opening minutes of the quarter where he scored six of the first 11 for the good guys. Tony Parker, brand new owner of a tiny human being, congrats, also had it going on early. He accounted for eight of the first 17 for the Spurs, who hit 7-of-9 to start, and SA led early on, 17-8. The Spurs' lead would grow to 13 before the Mavs, who hit their last five shots of the quarter - three of which were threes, fought back to cut it to just one at 27-26 going into the second period.
The Mavericks continued their hot shooting into the second, converting three of their first four, including a Devin Harris score in transition, after which Pop called a timeout. The rest of the quarter was tightly contested with neither team able to make it a two possession game until Kawhi Leonard drew an and-one on a dunk with three minutes left. After the he missed the free throw the Spurs led 49-44. The Spurs ended the half playing some pretty good basketball. The defense was tight, the looks were clean and the good guys took a 58-49 lead into the second half.
San Antonio's offense looked a little out of sorts early in the quarter, but they got lucky on several possessions and the Mavs weren't able to cut into the lead. The Spurs D put a ton of pressure on the opponents and halfway through the quarter the Spurs enjoyed a 69-59 lead over Cuban's Mavs. Vince Carter played just about the best game of his career, hitting triples, knocking down contested fade-aways, and generally looking much better than he is. If VC had been that good over his career he'd be going into the HOF instead of being remembered as a dude who could really dunk it. His five straight in the middle of the quarter pulled the Mavericks within seven, 73-66.
Rick Carlisle called a timeout after Manu found Tim Duncan in the lane without a member of the Dallas team within eight feet of him. Easy points for the good guys. The Spurs then gave up a good look to Carter from deep, he hit it, and the lead was just six. Another bucket for Tim and the Spurs took an eight point advantage into the deciding quarter.
For the first three minutes of the fourth the Spurs scored just three points, on a Manu triple, but after a Popovich timeout Tiago Splitter drew back-to-back and-ones. Dirk Nowitzki finally started making some shots, scoring eight points in three minutes, but the Spurs had Tiago Splitter. Splitter scored nine for the Spurs in three minutes and also put a fantastic pass on the money to a cutting Tony Parker for a layup. Spurs up 93-83 with six minutes left in the contest.
Like everyone expected, this one became a battle of Dirk and Tiago. Dirk would knock down his shot, and then Tiago would come down on the other end and play point forward, finding Tony and Patty for a couple more scores. Unfortunately, the Spurs missed a couple of shots and the Mavs got a putback and another Vince Carter three to cut the lead to four at 98-94. Of course Tony Parker would then take a triple and knock it down. It was the finest three I can remember. Huge shot.
The Mavericks wouldn't get closer than five after that, and after some free throws from the Spurs and some layups, and another triple from Vince for the Mavs, the game was over.
Great win for the home team, who now are in firm control of this surprisingly close series. Hopefully they close it out on Friday in Dallas, because I'm tired of watching those guys.
Your Spurs improve to 3-2 for the postseason. This team is so easy to root for.