Looking to tie their first round series and regain the home court advantage they lost in game 2, the San Antonio Spurs held off a furious rally from the Dallas Mavericks to earn a 93-89 victory and tie their first round series at two games apiece.
Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich wanted more out of his bench and he got that on Monday night. Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 23 points and dished out five assists while Boris Diaw had 17 points, four rebounds and four assists and Patty Mills put up 10 points.
What looked like a laugher turned into a fantastic finish. With the Spurs up 87-84, the Mavericks got a three-point play from Monta Ellis to tie the game, but Diaw responded with a three-pointer. After Dirk Nowitzki got a put-back, Ginobili was fouled and hit one of two free throws to push the lead to 91-89. Ellis then missed a chance to tie on the other end and the Spurs clinched the game at the charity stripe.
After getting off to a slow start and falling behind by five after one quarter of play, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the second quarter in every way possible. They used a 12-o run to take control of the game, outscoring the Mavericks 32-13 in the quarter to take a 14-point lead into the break. They were able to extend the lead to 20 early in the third quarter, but the Mavericks responded with back-to-back three-pointers that sparked a 14-2 run. The Mavericks finally regained the lead, 81-80, at the 4:50 mark in the fourth quarter on a DeJuan Blair layup, but quickly lost the advantage when Blair was ejected for kicking Tiago Splitter (which you can see here).
Ellis led the Mavericks with 20 points while Nowitzki scored 19 and grabbed seven rebounds.
Tim Duncan had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs.
Game 5 is Wednesday night at 7:00 pm EST and will be on TNT.