San Antonio was in control for two-and-a-half quarters on Monday night before it let the Mavericks slowly creep back into the game. Dallas, up 2-1 in the series, had the opportunity to steal away a third game for a commanding lead, but an unlikely performance by Boris Diaw and free throws by Manu Ginobili allowed the Spurs to level the series as they return to San Antonio on Wednesday.
Dirk Nowitzki hasn't played well all series, despite the Mavericks taking two games from the team that ended the season with the best regular season record in the NBA. The German big man is averaging just 16 points on 34.5 percent shooting against the Spurs, both down from his season averages.
But it hasn't been such a smooth ride for San Antonio, either. They've allowed the Mavericks to steal two games from them, including Game 1 on their home floor. Despite being able to dominate from the field, or clean up the glass, the Spurs have yet to find space to really pull away from the Mavericks for four full quarters.
If the Spurs lose on their home floor, they will be in a tough hole going back to Dallas for Game 6. Difficulty dispersing the No. 8 seed has been a storyline in these NBA playoffs, with Atlanta leading their series with Indiana, 3-2. San Antonio needs to get themselves out of a dangerous spot against Dallas on Wednesday night.
Game time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio
Local: FSSW, KXTA