Mavericks vs. Spurs: Game 5The Mavericks had 28 points from Vince and 26 from Dirk but it wasn’t enough as the Spurs take a 3-2 series lead. The boys are back home Friday for a crucial Game 6.
SAN ANTONIO — It all could come down to Friday night at American Airlines Center.
Returning to San Antonio for Wednesday night’s Game 5, the Mavericks tried to do what they couldn’t accomplish at home, looking to take a 3-2 series advantage before the scene shifts back to Dallas. However, despite the best scoring night in the series for both 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and sixth man Vince Carter, the Mavericks wouldn’t have enough firepower to capture a win on the Spurs’ home floor. And after suffering a 109-103 defeat to fall into a 2-3 series hole, the Mavs will play to extend their season in Friday’s Game 6.
“We know it’s possible, but now we have to figure this puzzle out once again,” Carter said after being pushed to the brink of elimination. “I mean, I think it’s always a new puzzle each game you go into, especially when you’re playing in a seven-game series. It’s always something a little different, so now it’s really not much to change. It’s just now our effort, and we have to go out there and lay it on the line.”
Playing without backup big man DeJuan Blair as he served a one-game suspension for an ejection in Game 4, the Mavericks would be further handicapped as starting center Samuel Dalembert limped into the locker room two minutes into the game after suffering an apparent right ankle injury. However, after having his ankle re-taped, Dalembert quickly returned to see his team down 15-8 with 7:48 left in the opening quarter.
Meanwhile, Spurs point guard Tony Parker played through his own sprained left ankle, giving the Dallas defense fits in the first period. But the Mavs would respond behind the play of their bench after finding themselves down by as many as 13. And with Carter and reserve guard Devin Harris both catching fire from the outside, the Mavs finished the period on a 15-3 run to trail just 27-26 after 12 minutes of play.
Showing signs of life early in the second stanza, Nowitzki continued to keep the Mavs close. However, the Spurs countered at the other end with sixth man Manu Ginobili on the attack.
Carter’s hot shooting then brought the Mavs even on the scoreboard at 37-all with 7:42 left in the half. But, after Spurs big man Tim Duncan started to have his way inside and swingman Kawhi Leonard lent some assistance, not even Carter’s 14 first-half points would be enough to prevent the Mavs from facing a 58-49 deficit entering the halftime intermission.
Led by Ginobili’s 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, the Spurs connected on 52.3 percent from the field as a team, bettering the Mavs’ 40.5 percent through two quarters. Meanwhile, San Antonio also used a 22-20 rebounding edge and 28-10 scoring margin in the paint to its advantage.
Unable to string together stops, the Mavs would continue to find themselves at a disadvantage as the third quarter got underway. Spurs sharpshooter Danny Green then swished in a 3-pointer to give the home team a 67-57 advantage, leading to a timeout by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle with 7:22 left in the period.
Carter then did his best to will the Mavericks back into the game, putting the visiting team on his back while continuing to stroke the hot hand. Still, the Spurs sprinted into the fourth with a 79-71 margin under their belt.
“In the third, you know, we did a better job. But again, we’ve got to be better from start to finish over the whole 48 minutes,” Carlisle confessed.
Opening the fourth-quarter scoring, Nowitzki tried to give Carter some help on the offensive end. But the Spurs would continue to answer Nowitzki at the other end, keeping the Mavs at a safe distance.
Duncan then split a pair at the foul line, putting the Spurs up 94-85 with 5:35 remaining. Not to be outdone, Nowitzki kept his team afloat, draining vintage jumper after timeless fadeaway in the quarter during a stretch of seven straight makes. Carter then jumped back into the scoring, swishing a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:58 left to bring the Mavericks within four, 98-94.
“I think we fought like heck to get back in the game, and we gave ourselves a chance. That’s all you can ask for,” Carter confessed.
Parker would have an answer at the other end, however, swishing a trey of his own to keep the Mavs at bay. After a 2-for-2 trip to the foul line by Mavs starting 2-guard Monta Ellis was quickly followed by Duncan’s score at the other end, Parker then tried to provide the final padding on a Spurs’ win with two strokes of his own at the charity stripe to make it a 105-96 San Antonio lead with 29.5 seconds remaining.
But the Mavs continued to fight, getting a 3-pointer from Carter immediately out of a timeout. A layup by Ellis would following, making it a 106-101 deficit for Dallas with 14.3 ticks left. Spurs backup big man Boris Diaw and Ginobili then in fact put the finishing touches on the Spurs’ win from there, hitting clutch free throws down the stretch as Ellis’ last score proved to be too little and too late.
“I thought overall we didn’t play enough defense to win,” Nowitzki said after the loss. “Even though we were scoring in the fourth every time down, we just couldn’t get stops to really get back into it. They kept scoring. If they missed, they got an offensive rebound and kick-out threes. I just thought even when we were scoring in the fourth we didn’t get enough stops to really get over the hump.”
Scoring 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, Carter led three Mavs in double figures while also hitting seven of his nine shots from behind the arc. Nowitzki came on strong late, scoring 14 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter while adding a game-high 15 rebounds. Ellis, meanwhile, finished with 21 points in a losing effort.
Going 9-of-23 from the field, Parker led five Spurs in double figures with 23 points. Finishing with just six turnovers and a 54-28 advantage in the paint, the Spurs’ 46.6 percent shooting also bettered the Mavs’ 43.8 percent while both teams battled to a 47-all rebounding stalemate.
“Our defense has got to be better,” Carlisle concluded. “You know, they had eight threes, 50 percent on threes, they got a big paint number, and really they just kind of had it going all night.”
“We’ve just got to have a little more energy about our defense,” Nowitzki echoed. “What’d they have, [six] turnovers? I mean, that’s a joke in a 48-minute game. You know, we’ve got to be more energetic and get some deflections, get into them a little more. We’ve got to be the more aggressive team on Friday for sure, if we want to win.”
Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center for Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Spurs on Friday night. San Antonio leads the series 3-2. Game 6 will air nationally on ESPN and locally on TXA 21 at 7 p.m. CT.
The series schedule is as follows:
Game 6 : San Antonio at Dallas CT, 7 p.m. CT on ESPN and TXA 21, Friday, May 2
Game 7 (if necessary): Dallas at San Antonio CT, TBD, Sunday, May 4
|Shawn Marion, F||24||6||0||1||0||5||3||2||1||1||-7||3-10||0-2||0-0|
|Dirk Nowitzki, F||38||26||1||0||1||15||14||1||3||3||-15||10-20||0-2||6-6|
|Samuel Dalembert, C||22||2||0||0||2||9||9||0||1||3||-13||0-2||0-0||2-2|
|Monta Ellis, G||40||21||6||1||0||2||1||1||1||5||-7||8-18||1-4||4-4|
|Jose Calderon, G||26||8||2||0||0||2||1||1||0||3||-12||3-9||2-5||0-0|
San Antonio Spurs
|Kawhi Leonard, F||34||15||1||0||0||8||7||1||1||1||13||6-10||1-2||2-3|
|Tim Duncan, F||37||16||1||1||3||12||8||4||0||2||14||7-16||0-0||2-4|
|Tiago Splitter, C||32||17||5||0||0||12||6||6||1||5||9||7-10||0-0||3-6|
|Danny Green, G||15||6||0||2||2||3||3||0||1||2||12||2-2||2-2||0-0|
|Tony Parker, G||37||23||5||0||0||2||2||0||1||0||3||9-23||1-1||4-4|
Postgame: Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowitzki addresses the media following the Game 5 loss to the Spurs.
Postgame: Rick CarlisleRick Carlisle talks with the media after the Game 5 loss to the Spurs.
Quick Deuce on the BreakMonta Ellis pokes it away from Manu Ginobili and Brandan Wright outlets to Ellis for the quick slam.
Carter Blocks DuncanVince Carter blocks Tim Duncan under the basket then draws the foul.
SAN ANTONIO — After showing that they’re fully capable of stealing a win on the road with their Game 2 victory, the Dallas Mavericks now know they will have to capture at least one more on the San Antonio Spurs’ home floor in order to win the first-round playoff series.
Falling to a 93-89 defeat Monday night at American Airlines Center to even the series at 2-2, the Mavericks now return to San Antonio for Wednesday’s pivotal Game 5. And with the best-of-seven series now a best-of-three to swing the home-court advantage back in favor of the Spurs, the Mavs acknowledge that they will have their work cut out for them while trying to replicate a 113-92 Game 2 victory.
“They key thing is you’ve got to play for the whole 48 (minutes),” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said while turning his attention to Game 5. “The first quarter is very important, and we had a solid first quarter (in Game 4). But we were poor in the second quarter, and that cost us.
“I love the way that we’ve competed all year long. I love the way that we’ve competed in this series, second quarter not withstanding [Monday night]. And you know, it’s now a three-game series and we’ve got to go back in there with the same kind of aggression that we did the first two games.”
Falling down by as many as 20 in Game 4, the Mavs would eventually run out of steam after rallying to take an 81-80 lead with 4:50 remaining. Wednesday, the Mavericks will try not to provide the Spurs with that same cushion, looking to carry the second-half momentum of Game 4 over.
“They’re a great team,” Mavs starting 2-guard Monta Ellis respectfully said of the Spurs after the loss. “You know, they did everything they could to get that lead. Hats off to them. They came out and played basketball. We didn’t play for 48 minutes, and it cost us the game.”
“I thought they just played a little harder than us,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki added. “They were into us. They had us a little bit on our back heels, and I thought in the second half we reversed that. We were the aggressors there. We took it to them, got some stops, got some rebounds and sped the game up a little bit.”
One reason for the comeback effort, however, was the play of backup big man DeJuan Blair.
Scoring 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting in just less than 16 minutes of work off the bench, Blair also recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. But, after earning an ejection with 3:08 left on the clock for kicking Spurs center Tiago Splitter in the head as the two battled for a loose ball, Blair will have to sit out Game 5 following the NBA’s announcement Tuesday that he will serve a one-game suspension.
“It was clearly a reaction to the call and an accident,” Blair said of the sequence after also being assessed a personal foul during the incident. “I didn’t know his face was down there. … It’s real disappointing, because with me in the game our momentum was going great. With that happening, I think getting me out of there was a big deal.”
Now, the Mavs will have to look elsewhere for a spark, attempting to reclaim the series lead before trying to close the Spurs out when the scene shifts back to Dallas for Game 6.
Note: The Mavericks return to AT&T Center for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Spurs on Wednesday night. The series is tied at 2-2. Game 5 will air nationally on TNT and locally on TXA 21 at 6 p.m. CT.
The series schedule is as follows:
Game 5: San Antonio at Dallas, 6 p.m. CT on TNT and TXA 21, Monday, April 30
Game 6 (if necessary): San Antonio at Dallas CT, TBD, Friday, May 2
Game 7 (if necessary): Dallas at San Antonio CT, TBD, Sunday, May 4
Single-game tickets for the first two Mavs home games of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs are on sale now. Tickets are available at the American Airlines Center box office, online at mavs.com or by calling (214) 747-MAVS. There is an eight-ticket limit per game.