Who would've thought that the best 8-seed in NBA history might come to play? The Dallas Mavericks crushed the San Antonio Spurs, capitalizing on a slew of mistakes in a 113-92 win, knotting the series up at 1-1 as the series heads north to San Antonio.
This game wasn't competitive, but it's kind of encouraging that the lower seed could come out and completely eviscerate the best team in the West. We've got at least three more games between two talented regional rivals. They probably won't be snoozers.
On a night Gregg Popovich got the Coach of the Year award, the Spurs didn't look particularly disciplined, turning the ball over pretty much every which way. They had 15 in the first half and ended with 22. Some of this was due to aggressive Mavericks defense, some of this was due to sloppy Spurs play, and some of it was just due to the ball bouncing the right way. (DeJuan Blair does not often scoop up loose balls and go coast-to-coast for a finish.)
The Spurs actually shot well and did stuff like this:
Ginobili in particular was brilliant, with 27 points on just 12 shots, including a 5-for-6 performance from downtown. But when you turn the ball over damn near as much as the Spurs did, you aren't going to win. Dallas took 92 shots. San Antonio took 64. Yeah.
Shawn Marion had one of those nights where his ugly flickshot worked, scoring 18 on 7-of-9 shooting, but Monta Ellis led the way with a not-so-efficient 20. Dirk Nowitzki was Dirk Nowitzki:
The Spurs briefly showed signs of life early, actually leading towards the beginning of the second quarter, but Dallas exploded to push the lead to 15. Ginobili exploded to keep the game relevant, scoring eight points in a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 56-51 at the half.
But that relevance was short-lived: the Mavs pushed the lead to 13 by the end of the third and began the fourth on a 11-1 run, and then we could extend the gar-bahj. The lead would grow to as big as 31 as the scrubs played it out.
Here are your successful Mavs GIFs: