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Spurs give the ball away first, then Game 2 to Dallas

Apr 23, 2014, 11:54 PM EDT

Tony Parker Tony Parker

This time there would be no Spurs comeback.

In Game 1 of this series Dallas had a double-digit fourth quarter lead but surrendered it and lost. In Game 2 San Antonio had been shooting itself in the foot all night and Dallas had taken advantage and led by 11 entering the fourth quarter. But it didn’t feel safe.

Then the Mavericks opened the fourth quarter on an 11-1 run and the game became a rout, with Dallas eventually winning 113-92.

That evens the series at 1-1 as it heads back to Dallas for Game 3. This was the first win for the Mavs against the Spurs in their last 11 tries but it gives Dallas hope heading home.

Hope because for seven of the eight quarters in this series, Dallas has been the better team.

On Wednesday night mostly the Mavs won because the Spurs beat themselves.

San Antonio turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of their possessions — 15 turnovers in the first half and 22 for the game (that 15 was more than San Antonio had in half its games total this season). Dallas converted those turnovers into 33 points. If you’re a Dallas fan you can try to spin this as your team playing good defense — and Dallas has been better this series than they were during the season — but this Spurs team was just sloppy with the ball. It was very unSpurs-like.

When they didn’t cough it up the Spurs shot well — 57.6 percent for the first half and 50 percent for the game. Manu Ginobili finished with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting, he was 5-of-6 from three and was a real spark when the Spurs went on a 10-0 run to close out the first half and make it close.

You just can’t add 22 extra empty possessions to any shooting percentage and do well.

We need to give the Mavericks some credit here, they were making plays — DeJuan Blair at one point stripped Ginobili, led the fast break, got into the lane, did a ball fake, spun 360 and hit a lay-up. It was that kind of the night for the Mavs.

Monta Ellis had 21 points (on 20 shots, though), Devin Harris had 18 on 7-of-9 shooting, and Shawn Marion had 20 points on 10 shots. Dirk Nowitzki was off his game, missing his first six shots and finishing with 16 points on 19 shots, but he hit a couple key ones late.

That Dallas won on an off night from their best player is a great sign.

That they beat the Spurs on the road and did it by beating the Spurs at their own game — smart execution, forcing mistakes then taking advantage of them — is another great sign.

This is a series, one where Dallas has been the better team for most of it. This is not a cake walk for the Spurs, this one may go a while now.

  1. elcapitanfiscal - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Spurs are going down.

  2. xli2006 - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Okay Sports Media… Time to give the Spurs the “Pacers treatment”. Because apparently the Thunder, Clippers, Spurs, Pacers giving up a home game in a series they’re favored in is cause to freak the f*** out.

    Or we can not overreact and realize these are all solid teams in a very competitive playoffs.

    • kinggw - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:32 AM

      The Spurs aren’t the Pacers. They’ve been there before. No one is freaking out, but the Spurs probably should’ve lost game one and they did lose game two.

      Most people thought the Spurs would have a relatively easy trip to the conference finals and they are getting some resistance from the Mavs. Currently, there is no cause for concern but if the Mavs win game three, things will get very interesting.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Yes, the Spurs have been there before – as recently as 2011. Their loss to the Grizz was dubbed “the most significant first round upset in NBA history.”

        Maybe Pop will be forced to pull out this line again:

        “It doesn’t matter what your seeding is in the West. As has been evidenced year after year, we all know that everybody’s basically as good as everybody else.”

        …sounds more like an excuse though.

        Pop’s Spurs do have an underachieving streak in them. But, hey, he’s the greatest coach in history, right?

  3. realfootballfan - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    How you know your league has too many playoff games? When the two Finals’ participants are playing at the same time without most of the country watching one of those games on the poorly distributed league owned channel.

  4. peddealer - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Guess what beaners in SA? Ur doing down in 6 Punk Beeshes!

    • savvybynature - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      Love how they allow racist trash in the comments on this website, but if you disagree with or call out the writers your comment likely gets blocked.
      You’re an idiot, btw.

      • davidly - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:21 AM

        In fairness, I think one-liners pretty much go through unabated, while several sentence or multi-paragraphs and/or html code usually get hung up.

  5. lakerade - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    The West is wild!

  6. jerdogthompson - Apr 24, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    @ped

    Not to cool bro, I’m guessing you’d likely get thrashed saying that in public.

    Anyways, my two dark horses entering this fray was Dallas out west and Washington out east. A lot of games left however.

  7. davidly - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    Just like every successful aspect of their game, this turnover display was a true team effort.

  8. ragingmouse - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    The spurs looked tired and uninspired.

    I think they are looking ahead ( KC, Houston, Portland ) they are not taking dallas seriously…

    And Pops coaching strategy has been questionable…
    Spurs are playing ” too conservative ” they need to be more aggressive…

    – spurs in 5

  9. sprest83 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    That’s crap. Dallas played pretty good defense and both articles aren’t giving Dallas any props for forcing SA. Its all about Spurs giving it away. Gimme a break.

  10. unxpexted1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Yea this series could easily be up 2-0 dallas. They’ve looked like the better team 7 of 8 quarters. That first game meltdown could cost them though. Spurs have no issues winning on the road.

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