San Antonio wins series 4-3 (Game 1 of 7)

San Antonio wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, April 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd
Game 3: Saturday, April 26th
Game 4: Monday, April 28th
Game 5: Wednesday, April 30th
Game 6: Friday, May 2nd
Game 7: Sunday, May 4th

Mavericks 85

(49-33, 23-18 away)

Spurs 90

(62-20, 32-9 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    1:00 PM ET, April 20, 2014

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 12 32 21 2085
    SA 21 22 22 2590

    Top Performers

    Dal: D. Harris 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast

    SA: T. Parker 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Tim Duncan scores 27 points, lifts Spurs past Mavericks in Game 1

    Associated Press

    SAN ANTONIO -- The Spurs rode the wide shoulders of Tim Duncan to victory.

    The Mavericks were not going to let San Antonio beat them with 3-pointers, and they did not want Tony Parker using the lane as his personal playground. So the veteran Duncan overcame a brief injury scare to score 27 points. The Spurs held Dallas to one field goal in the final seven minutes to rally for a 90-85 win Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

    The Mavericks also went scoreless for 5½ minutes during that stretch, their lone field goal coming with less than a second remaining.

    San Antonio won despite going 3 for 17 on 3-pointers and getting only 23 points from its normally potent bench.

    "We got killed on 3s in the first four outings this year," Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said. "It was no secret; we stayed home a little more on 3-point shooters, but you've got to give them something, and Duncan in there is obviously still solid."

    Duncan scored nine points on 4-for-5 shooting from the paint in the final quarter to help the Spurs overcome a 10-point deficit.

    "Timmy, he's not going to score 24 a game or anything like that," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He's the base from which everything else occurs, whether he's scoring or not. It just gives us a comfort level and a point from which to operate. He plays (defense), rebounds, scores here and there. He just does his job."

    Parker had 21 points, and Manu Ginobili added 17. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds for top-seeded San Antonio, which has won 10 straight against Dallas.

    Devin Harris scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who nearly pulled off a huge upset.

    The Spurs had insisted that what happens in the regular season doesn't matter, and they were proven right for much of the game -- much to the home fans' dismay. Absent were the crisp passing, aggressive defense, bench scoring and 3-point shooting that made for the league's best record.

    "It's always tough to change gears from the regular season to the playoffs when you're preparing for a team and they're preparing for you specifically," Duncan said.

    San Antonio returned to its winning formula over the final seven minutes, taking an 86-81 lead with a 15-0 run. Splitter tied the game with five minutes remaining, rolling to the basket off a screen for an easy layup off a pass from Parker.

    The All-Star point guard then drove the lane for a layup and drained a 13-foot jumper, which he punctuated with a loud scream after Dallas called timeout with 2:45 to go.

    "I was able to push the ball and get some easy baskets," Parker said. "It got our confidence going, so once again defensively, the stops that we made helped us offensively."

    Dallas had taken an 81-71 lead when Brandan Wright completed a three-point play with 7:45 remaining. The Mavericks proceeded to miss their next 12 shots and committed three turnovers.

    "Defensively, we started making stops," Ginobili said. "We were at a point where they were getting to the rim. They were making shots and nothing seemed to work for brief periods. There was a point where we were down 10 where we made a couple of steals. We ran, we got fouled, we got a couple of easy buckets, and that changed our mentality."

    Nowitzki, who finished with 11 points, was 2 for 6 from the field in the final quarter. The veteran forward was closely defended by Splitter.

    "They're not necessarily unbelievably athletic and long, but they are very smart," Nowitzki said. "What they want to do defensively is take you out of your comfort zone."

    Duncan, wearing a heavy brace on his left knee, walked off the court gingerly with 3:24 remaining in the third quarter after banging knees with Monta Ellis. He did not get up as he customarily does during a timeout to greet his teammates.

    Duncan later left the court, followed closely by trainer Will Sevening and team doctor David Schmidt, returning a minute later limping slightly less, and he played big down the stretch.

    "I knew as soon as I felt it," Duncan said. "My leg just kind of went numb, so I knew it was hopefully just a charley horse. I knew I needed just a couple of minutes just for the feeling to come back and I would be fine."

    Game notes

    Referee Joey Crawford screamed twice at a pair of scoring officials during a timeout, telling them at one point to do their jobs. Crawford, who once ejected Duncan for laughing from the bench during a game against the Mavericks, was booed regularly by the fans.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    The Spurs are 147-45 (.766)in games which Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each score at least 15 points (Regular Season and Playoffs combined).
    The Mavericks produced only four points on seven Monta Ellis drives Sunday, all by Ellis. According to player tracking, the Mavericks averaged an NBA-best 12.5 points off of Ellis drives (averaged 10.1 drives per game).
    The Spurs went 3-17 from the field Sunday when Tim Duncan was off the court, including 2-12 during his stretch on the bench following a knee injury. Why were the Spurs so ineffective? 67% of the team's FGA attempts were in the paint with Duncan on the floor but only 29% were in the paint with Duncan off the floor, going only 1-5 on those attempts.
    The Spurs and Mavericks begin their 1st-round series on Sunday with Game 1 in San Antonio. It will be the sixth playoff series between the two Texas teams since the 2000-01 season, and their 29 games in the previous 13 postseasons are the second-most in the league behind the Spurs and Lakers.
    The Spurs are 1 of 18 teams to lose a Game 7 in the NBA Finals. Of the 17 previous teams, 11 actually made it back to the Finals the following season and 5 went on to capture the title (the last to do so were the Pistons, who lost in 7 games in the 1987-88 Finals and then won it all the following season). The last 3 teams to lose a NBA Finals Game 7, however, failed to make it back to that stage the following year.
    The Mavericks scored 12 points in the 1st quarter Sunday. That's tied for the Mavericks lowest point total in any quarter this season (done twice previously). The Spurs outscored the Mavericks 18-2 inside the paint in the 1st quarter.
    The Spurs outscored the Mavericks 32-16 inside the paint in the 1st half, with Tony Parker (7-8, 14 points) nearly matching the Mavs himself. However, the Spurs were only 3-18 outside the paint (16.7%). That was their 4th worst shooting half of the season. The Mavericks bench led the team back in it, outscoring the Spurs bench 26-10. The Spurs, who led the NBA in bench scoring this season, have not had their bench outscored by more than 18 in a game this season. Devin Harris sparked the Mavs as the team scored 9 points off of his drives (including assists) in the 1st half. According to tracking, the Mavs averaged 5.5 PPG off Harris drives in the regular season
    Despite playing more than 40 minutes in Game 1 against the Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki managed just 11 points, the fewest he's ever scored in a playoff game when playing 40+ minutes. Maybe it should come as no surprise, as some of his other difficult offensive playoff games have also come against the Spurs.
    Under Gregg Popovich, the Spurs go on to win the series 85.7 percent of the time when they win Game 1 (24-4 series record).

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