Tuesday, May 23, 2006
MAVS 4 SA 3
MY Baketball brain is going insane.. What a game and man, was the live sream worth 1t
119-111 Mavs win baby on to the western Conf. Finals......
OMG what a game....
Dirk, Mavs take down Spurs
Nowitzki's 35 points enough to hold off defending champs
10:20 PM CDT on Monday, May 22, 2006
By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News
SAN ANTONIO – There's a new basketball king in Texas, and judging from Monday night's show of courage and heart against the San Antonio Spurs, maybe the whole NBA.
Dirk Nowitzki converted a tying three-point play with 21.6 seconds left to force overtime, then a host of Mavericks came through with huge plays in the extra period as the Mavericks finally dethroned the defending NBA champions with an outrageous 119-111 victory in Game 7 Monday night at AT&T Center.
The Mavericks beat the Spurs in a playoff series for the first time, after San Antonio had ended their season in two of the previous five seasons.
The Mavericks will play either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals, starting Wednesday at American Airlines Center.
If you don't grow up as a legitimate title-contender until you confront your biggest enemies, the Mavericks have truly grown up.
And the Mavericks did it in style, with every player on the court coming up big in overtime. They scored on their first four possessions of the overtime – and stopped the Spurs twice – to go up 112-108. Then, Tim Duncan did something that he didn't seem capable of in rolling up 41 points – he missed from point-blank range, leaving a jump hook on the front rim.
Pinned in the same corner from which Jerry Stackhouse had misfired from in Game 1, he rose up on the baseline and hit a well-guarded 18-footer with 1:48 to go to put the Mavericks up by six.
Duncan scored, but moments later he would leave a jump-hook short again. Then, the Mavs could not push the lead until, after a miss by Jason Terry, who played a sharp game in returning from his Game 6 suspension, DeSagana Diop tipped the rebound to himself and was fouled with 22.7 to go. He hit the second of two free throws for a 115-110 lead.
Though Devin Harris made a silly foul before the Spurs inbounded, giving them an easy point, the Mavericks survived when Michael Finley's 3-pointer was not close and Terry grabbed the rebound. His two free throws with 15.9 left iced it.
Just getting to overtime was a chore for the Spurs.
Manu Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with 32.2 seconds left that drilled all the way through the Mavericks' hearts, giving the San Antonio Spurs their first lead of the game at 104-101.
After Ginobili's rainbow, the Mavericks set up Dirk Nowitzki and he delivered with a strong move to the basket. His layup curled in and he was fouled by Ginobili. He calmly sank the free throw to make it 104-104 with 21.6 left.
The Spurs held for the final shot, but Ginobili's drive was too hard off the backboard and Duncan had his put-back try deflected by Nowitzki.
Already, it had been a heart-pounding finish to one of the best NBA playoff series of recent memory.
And overtime was no different.
Earlier, the Mavericks could not be stopped. Their execution on offense in the first half wasn't phenomenal, then it was sensational.
It was absolutely a textbook start for how to disarm a team in Game 7 on their home court. It also showed how simple the game is when you make your first seven shots and 17 of your first 20, which the Mavericks did.
They were the aggressor from the moment the ball went up.
And they finished what they started, at least for a quarter. They were up 37-27 after 12 minutes, their biggest offensive quarter of the postseason.
They had hoped for a quick start. They started Erick Dampier in hopes of getting a little better result against Duncan. When that didn't work, they went with Keith Van Horn, hoping he would pull Duncan away from the basket and open up the gut of the Spurs' defense.
The cushion kept growing like an inflatable pillow. The Mavericks were up a dozen, then 15 and finally 58-38 after Nowitzki's nifty spin move and three-point play on the baseline.
That the Spurs cut the lead down to 14 at halftime shouldn't have been a concern for the Mavericks. They had done what they needed to do, which was turn the game into a 24-minute contest in which the Spurs were spotting them a 64-50 lead.
Somehow, you knew it wasn't going to be this easy.
The Spurs juiced up the defense in the third quarter, forcing a couple of turnovers, then three missed shots on one Dallas possession, which led to a fast-break slam by Duncan, which got the Spurs within 10, as close as they'd been since early in the second quarter.
The slow climb back into the game had commenced for the Spurs.
The Mavericks were stuck on 74 points for what seemed like an eternity and the clock seemed to be running particularly slow – at least that was the view from the Mavericks' bench.
They got two huge 3-pointers from Keith Van Horn late in the third quarter and those would be the difference, as they led 84-78 going into the fourth.