San Antonio and Dallas went back-and-forth all afternoon, until a huge defensive stretch by the Spurs sent them over the top with a Game 1 victory, 90-85.
Dallas came out flat to start the first quarter, switching on nearly every screen on defense and allowing Tony Parker to go off early. The 31-year-old veteran dropped 17 points in the first half alone. But the Mavericks battled back, and with the help of Devin Harris off the bench, grabbed a 44-43 lead at halftime.
Pop warms up
Between the third and fourth quarters, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had a touching moment with Craig Sager Jr. It was announced this week that the older Sager -- who is TNT's sideline reporter -- is battling leukemia. Popovich has typically given him a hard time during league-mandated interviews, but requested the younger Sager specifically so he could send him a message.
"We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise I'll be nice. Get back here. Good luck," said Popovich.
The Spurs would eventually take control down the stretch, with San Antonio going on a 15-0 run at one point in the fourth quarter. Dallas didn't hit a field goal for more than seven minutes, until Devin Harris made a layup as time expired.
Mark Cuban does not approve.
Tim Duncan finished with 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting, adding seven rebounds. Tony Parker was everywhere, scoring 21 points while adding six assists and four rebounds. Kawhi Leonard had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
For Dallas, Devin Harris was the leading scorer with 19 points. He added five assists and three rebounds in an effort off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki scored just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting, adding eight rebounds and an assist. Monta Ellis had 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting, with just one assist. No Maverick had more than five rebounds.
Game 2 will be held in San Antonio on Wednesday, Apr. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on NBATV. San Antonio leads the series, 1-0.