In a game in which the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) really needed to win to help their playoff chances, the San Antonio Spurs (61-18) showed why they are the top seed in the Western Conference. For the second straight year, the Spurs have swept the season series with the Mavs after a 109-100 victory Thursday night.
How it went down:
Dallas didn’t get off to a great start in the first quarter and it didn’t help that Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard finished that quarter 4-7 from the three-point line. Trailing by eight after one period, the Mavs would get a much-needed lift from their superstar. Dirk Nowtizki, who was scoreless in the first period, poured in 12 during the second quarter as he help give the Mavs a two-point lead at the break.
The second half was a different story, though. Dallas could not keep the Spurs off the glass and they couldn’t defend the three-point line. Dallas was out-rebounded 27-19 in the second half, including 10-4 on the offensive glass. San Antonio also hit nine of the 19 three-pointers they made in the second half.
Patty Mills, who started in place for the injured Tony Parker, finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-25 shooting, including 6-11 from three-point range. Leonard finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds.
The loss doesn’t move the Mavs out of the playoffs, however, they are now in the eighth spot with two games remaining. The Suns, who currently own the seventh seed, will play the Spurs Friday night before visiting the Mavs for a crucial game Saturday night. Dallas needs to avoid playing the Spurs in the playoffs at all cost. In order for this to happen, Dallas needs to finish in the seventh seed or higher. The loss to the Spurs made this a little more difficult.
Inside the Numbers:
San Antonio has now defeated the Mavs nine straight times.
The Spurs became the 13th team in NBA history to win at least 30 road games in a season.
Impact Play of the Game:
With 1:17 left in the game, Jose Calderon hit a three pointer to bring the Mavs within six points. Just a minute and a half earlier it was a 14-point lead for the Spurs. After the 8-0 run, though, Leonard calmly sinks a three pointer to put the Spurs back up by nine and the game out of reach.
Step-Up Mav of the Night:
Once again, Monta Ellis tried to do what he could to get the win for the Mavs. Monta finished with 24 points, with 12 of them coming in the final quarter. Monta also had four rebounds and four assists.
“We got work to do. One of our goals is to get [to the playoffs]. When we get there we will talk about matchups. Right now, we have to win two games.”
— Rick Carlisle
“They are a special team. It’s a hard matchup for us, and for some reason we just have a hard time with the Spurs. … It is what it is. They just have our number.”
— Shawn Marion
The Mavs will play their final home game of the regular season Saturday night as they face the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs and Suns are playing for their playoff lives and both will want to win this game. Tip is at 7:30 on NBATV/TXA 21. If you’re coming to the game, be prepared for a playoff-style atmosphere.
Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero & AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com