So was Game One a case of the Mavericks collapsing or the Mavericks missing their opportunity? Would San Antonio even allow Dallas another opportunity to win at AT&T Center and take control of the series?
The answer was, the Mavericks did collapse and the Spurs would give them that opportunity and then some.
Dallas continued switching up and fine-tuning its defense to keep San Antonio off guard. The Spurs needed time to figure it all out and the turnovers piled up and up — 24 turnovers for 33 Mavericks points — and fell behind big. They never got closer than seven for much of the second half and only Manu Ginobili could get things going offensively.
The Mavericks’ bench again was dominant, getting into a good offensive flow and putting the screws to the Spurs. It was a rare time when San Antonio really seemed on its back foot and unable to find an answer.
As mentioned, Manu Ginobili had 27 points, making five of his six 3-pointers. He was the only consistent offensive option all night with Tim Duncan stymied and Tony Parker kept out of the paint. He found the defense much more difficult to penetrate than Game One. The cat and mouse game between Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle continued and Carlisle clearly came out ahead with his Game Two adjustments.
Shawn Marion had 20 points as Dallas shot 48.9 percent from the floor. Monta Ellis scored 21 and Devin Harris continued his superb play with 18 points off the bench.
The Mavericks had this game in control virtually from the start, overcoming another slow offensive start to take control of the game.
This is a series heading back to Dallas. And, instead, it is San Antonio asking who it really is and how it can crack Dallas to take back this series.