That's not to say that there wasn't any sharing of the ball from the good guys, but for a team that averages 25 assists per game, only notching 14 is uncharacteristic of the team. Sure, there were a bunch of missed open looks, but the ball didn't move the way we're used to seeing it move.
This is a pretty sweet drive and dime from Manu Ginobili to Tim Duncan. Gino comes from the corner, receives the ball from Timmy, and curls around the big veteran on his way into the paint. With Monta Ellis beat and DeJuan Blair backpedaling through the lane as Duncan rolls to the basket it's an easy score for the Spurs. Blair contests Manu and the Argentine feeds the now unguarded Duncan the ball. The DeJuan Blair experiment lasted for four minutes in this game and I'd be very surprised to see him take the court in the series unless it's garbage time.
It's great that the Spurs can still go to Timmy in the post and run the offense through him for stretches. Boris enters the ball to Tim and he clears out as the Spurs run four down for The Ageless One. Duncan faces up against Samuel Dalembert, one jab step, and then Tim dribbles once as he moves right across the lane and gets a one-handed banker to go.
Here the Spurs are in a bit of trouble as the shot clock is winding down. Danny gets the ball 30 feet from the hoop with five seconds left and passes to Duncan who knocks down a turnaround fade-away jumper from the right elbow to bail out his team. Tim's so great; this wasn't the prettiest game, but it was fun to watch the veteran come through for the good guys.
About halfway through the fourth quarter the Mavericks opened up their biggest lead of the game at 81-71. The Spurs then responded with more Tim Duncan. This time he works on Brandon Wright in the post, first trying to back him down, and then pulling out a nice spin move before getting another banker to go.
On the next possession it's Duncan again. Tony feeds the big man on the left block and Tim immediately attacks Wright. One dribble, two steps through the paint, and Tim puts up a leaner that bounces on the rim five times before falling through the net.
After falling down by ten the Spurs went on a 15-0 run to take control of the game. Timmy had seven of those 15 points and this is his last field goal of the game. This time it's Ginobili that finds Tim out of a double team and Duncan again wastes no time attacking. He beats Nowitzki with a quick dribble and finishes with an easy layup. Duncan turns 38 on Friday.
Tony Parker was fantastic in this one as well. He was able to get into the paint almost at will and score. Here he has a mismatch with Dirk guarding him. Tony pulls the big German out to the perimeter before he makes his move and blows right past Nowitzki for a quick score.
Tony Parker has such good awareness of the shot clock. It's crazy. I mean, he gets the ball at the top of the arc with four seconds left to shoot, abuses Dirk with a little hesitation and crossover, weaves through the lane, hangs in the air, and changes hands as he uses the rim to protect his shot. He doesn't rush, it's like he knows he can do all of this and get the shot off no problem. Pretty impressive.
Kawhi Leonard didn't shoot the ball well, but he played good defense and he grabbed 10 boards. During the 15-0 run he gambles slightly by doubling Dirk, but it pays off. Whi is able to knock the ball loose with a swipe and it bounces off of Nowitzki's foot. That's a huge play when the Spurs needed it.
Tim started the fourth quarter run for the Spurs, pulled them back in the game, and then Tony Parker shut the door on Dallas. Tiago Splitter had just tied the game with the help of a TP assist and on the next possession Tony brings the ball up in transition. He's moving at a good clip and he doesn't wait for help, instead deciding to attack Devin Harris. He uses a devastating spin move to beat Harris which gives him a completely uncontested layup.
He followed up that spin move layup with this jumper. He missed his first six jumpers of the game, but he made his seventh and last one. Strangely, after this he missed a layup after going a perfect 8-of-8 on layups during the game to that point.
That's it for this edition of GIF Breakdown. See you for Game 2, Pounders. Tim Duncan is so easy to root for.