The Mavericks seemed poised for an upset. They got a stellar performance from their bench and had finally solved their Spurs bugaboo. Then the 10-point lead they had built midway through the fourth quarter, crumbled and disappeared in a matter of moments.
San Antonio’s 15-0 run in the fourth quarter put Dallas’ upset dreams away with Tony Parker slicing through Dallas’ defense on the pick and roll and picking the way he wanted to beat the defense. San Antonio turned the jets on when it needed to, tightening up against the Dallas offense late, and took a 90-85 win at AT&T Center on Sunday.
Parker scored 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting and dished out six assists. Parker spent the entire game getting wherever he wanted to go on the floor. For a good chunk of the game, Parker had to decide what he was going to do and just make the layup or hope his teammate did. The Spurs missed plenty of bunnies and tried to diversify the offense to limited success. Tim Duncan was the beneficiary of a lot of that, scoring a game-high 27 points on 12-for-20 shooting.
Dallas had answers offensively for most of the game and made the stops when it had to for most of three quarters.
The Mavericks’ bench surprisingly stepped up to score 46 points, including a team-high 19 points from Devin Harris. Harris did the best job trying to corral Parker.
In the end, though, Dallas needed more from its best players. Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting and he could not get his offensive game going. And Dallas got to the line only 13 times for nine makes. That shows that Dallas was not attacking.
So while the defense did just enough to keep it close, it was not enough to win. Or stop Tony Parker’s brilliance.