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GIF Breakdown: Spurs at Mavericks Game 4

The Mavericks charged back after falling behind by 20 to take a brief lead, but the Spurs pulled out a nice road win to even the series at two games apiece. The Spurs looked like the Spurs for stretches of this one, so let's check out some of the plays that stood out in this important victory for the good guys.

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The Spurs' offense over the first three games didn't look much like the offense that we are used to seeing the team run. Early in the first quarter of this one the Spurs began to exhibit signs that they were getting back to the kind of play that makes them great. In this play we see Manu Ginobili feed Boris Diaw in the post against Vince Carter. Boris sizes up VC as Manu gets an off-ball screen from Tim Duncan and cuts through the lane where Bobo hits him in stride with a nice bounce pass that leads to an easy layup from the magnificent Argentine.


Next let's look at Manu and Tiago run a pick-and-roll in transition for the Spurs. Tiago sets an immediate screen for Manu and Gino attacks through the lane, Brandon Wright hesitates slightly, and that gave Manu the advantage. Wright recovers, but he anticipates the shot and gets into the air too early. Ginobili has no problem finishing at the rim as the Dallas big man is on his way down before Manu goes up for the shot. Easy transition bucket.


Here we see Manu use another high pick-and-roll to score. Boris sets the pick for the wily one which leaves Manu with just Dirk Nowitzki between him and the basket. The Manu wastes no time attacking the big German and easily beats him to the hole for a quick two.


Here's another play that looks like the Spurs. Ellis goes airborne with nowhere to go and turns the ball over. Patty Mills, who broke out of his funk in this one, tracks down the loose ball and sprints down the floor in a a two on one with Kawhi. Mills passes back to Whi and the young man goes top shelf for the slam.


Next we'll  see Boris and Kawhi with a nice give and go. Kawhi feeds Boris in the post and then follows the ball as he curls baseline, gets the ball back from Bobo, takes a push in the  back from Ellis and still finishes with a little layup. How that foul was uncalled is beyond me. It's harder to see from this angle, but on the replay on  the broadcast it's very clear that Monta got away with a shove. What really bothers me is that it occurred in plain site of the ref, but no call was made.


It's nice to see the Spurs playing the way  we're used to them playing. Here we see Gino drive the lane, stop short of Vince Carter set to take a screen, and dish to the legend. Tim, wide open, throws down a simple dunk as the Spurs grow their lead before the half.


During  this entire series Kawhi Leonard has had a ton of opportunities to exploit the fact that Monta  Ellis is guarding him. This time he takes him off of the three point line, backs him down easily, and then jumps to get way down low before getting an easy one-hander to go. Ellis on Whi should be an automatic score and hopefully we'll see the youngin' stay aggressive as this series continues.


The  Spurs' bench  had been pretty ineffective in the series over the first  three games. Patty and Boris were pretty good tonight. Boris was especially effective down the stretch for the good guys and we'll  finish this GIF Breakdown with three scores for the big Frenchman.

Here he gets the ball and go to work as far away from the basket as he ever has wearing a Spurs uniform. It's in transition and Bobo gets the ball 30 feet out, but with no one stepping up to challenge him he drives to the hole and easily beats Nowitzki  for an easy two.


This one isn't so easy. Manu drives and passes out to Boris, but the pass is deflected and with just three seconds left on the shot clock Boris is forced to make it happen on his own. He crosses over Ellis as he gets into the lane and puts up a floater over DIrk. If you're a regular at Pounding the Rock you're probably aware of my affinity for Boris and it was really great to see him show up for this one.


Boris scored 17 points for the Spurs in  this contest and this was easily the most important shot of the season for him. With the game tied late our jack of all trades knocked down a huge triple. He settles at the three point line after setting a screen for Parker and  has no hesitation as he drills the shot.


It  wasn't an easy game to watch for Spurs fans,  but the good guys came away with a crucial win and the  series is back in control of the Spurs. See you guys next time after the Spurs hopefully take a series lead on the Mavs.

Bonus GIF

Let's look at a fantastic block from Kawhi Leonard. He comes from way behind and uses all of his length and his giant hand to reject Vince Carter's attempt. Really great play from Whi.