Dallas wins series 4-3 (Game 5 of 7)

Dallas wins series 4-3

Game 1: Sunday, May 7th
Game 2: Tuesday, May 9th
Game 3: Saturday, May 13th
Game 4: Monday, May 15th
Game 5: Wednesday, May 17th
Game 6: Friday, May 19th
Game 7: Monday, May 22nd

Mavericks 97

(60-22, 26-15 away)

Spurs 98

(63-19, 34-7 home)

8:30 PM ET, May 17, 2006

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 24 33 21 1997
SA 29 28 24 1798

Top Performers

Dal: D. Nowitzki 31 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

SA: T. Duncan 36 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Duncan fuels Spurs' Game 5 win over Mavs

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Just when it seemed the Dallas-San Antonio series couldn't get any more amazing or intense, the closing seconds of a thrilling Game 5 ratcheted everything up another level.

And thanks to Tim Duncan, there will be a Game 6.

Duncan tied an NBA postseason record by making his first 12 shots and scored 36 points, Tony Parker scored 27, and the Spurs withstood losing two jump balls in the final 6.3 seconds to keep their title defense alive with a 98-97 victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night.

"Everyone wants this badly," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Both teams are filled with character and toughness. This doesn't surprise me. I would have been surprised if we beat them by 20 or if they beat us by 20."

After two excruciating, late losses on the road, the Spurs let the Mavs know what it feels like. San Antonio ended its first three-game losing streak of the season to get within 3-2 in this second-round series that's quickly becoming a classic.

"We didn't expect them to roll over," Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse said. "They're the world champs. They did what they're supposed to do. Every possession in the game meant something."

The Mavericks had two chances to win in the wild final sequence, but Jason Terry missed a 15-foot fadeaway, then Dirk Nowitzki missed a tip-in chance at the buzzer.

"They got one more break than we did," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said.

The Mavericks will get a second chance at advancing to the conference finals at home Friday night. If they can't do it, the Spurs will host Game 7 on Monday night.

"We're really confident going into their building," said Duncan, who helped extend a series when facing elimination for the first time in his career. He'd been 0-for-5.

Nowitzki scored a series-high 31 points for Dallas, including his first 3-pointer, which tied it at 95.

The ball was back in his hands with under 10 seconds left and San Antonio ahead by one when things turned wacky.

Nowitzki went up for a go-ahead 8-footer in the lane when Bruce Bowen -- who surprisingly hadn't been covering him much all game -- swept in from behind and put his hand over the ball. It was clearly a jump ball with 6.3 seconds left in the game and five seconds left on the shot clock.

"I was just fortunate enough to get my hand over the ball," Bowen said. "He was raising up. I think he felt he got enough space in between me and him at that point and he went to go pull up."

Using his 5-inch height advantage, Nowitzki swatted the jump ball backward. It hit Manu Ginobili as he tried starting a fast break and Terry dove on it. He tried calling timeout, but Ginobili tied up the ball first.

Officials called it another jump ball, prompting drum-like chants from the crowd and protests from the Mavs bench. While trying to sort it all out, players were jostling for position around the midcourt jump circle. Had it been a hockey faceoff, nearly everyone would've been told to leave the area.

Once they finally got it off, a mistimed tip went straight to Dallas' Josh Howard. He called time with 3.4 seconds left and there was no controversy over that.

The inbounds went to Terry, who put up a tough fadeway in the right corner. Afterward, he lamented not driving the lane.

"I don't know if I had a crease or not," Terry said. "But with 2.4 seconds left, I can get from the 3-point (line) to the basket easy. I settled right there. It's definitely my fault."

Ginobili scored 18 points in his return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench the last two games. He made only one of two free throws with 1:59 left -- yet that ended up being the game's final point.

"We didn't want to go on vacation yet," Ginobili said.

Playing hours after failing to make the All-NBA first team for the first time in his nine-year career, Duncan made three baskets in the first quarter. The star early on was Parker, who celebrated his 24th birthday with a 15-point opening period.

Then it was Duncan's turn. He hit eight straight shots in the second quarter, scoring 17 of San Antonio's final 18 points of the first half.

At halftime, Duncan was 11-for-11 and had taken 11 free throws, two more than the entire Mavs squad. The Spurs also were shooting 61 percent -- yet it was tied at 57.

Nowitzki, who made first-team All-NBA for the second straight year, started 7-of-8 and forced the halftime tie with a breakaway dunk just as the second quarter expired. Popovich seemed stunned by the basket, staring with his hands on hips, then shaking his head and pausing for a second before going to the locker room.

The Spurs appeared to finally break open the game with a 13-2 run late in the third quarter, but the Mavs regained the lead with streaks of 7-0 and 8-0. Michael Finley tied it with an emphatic dunk, then Duncan ended a rut of five misses with a three-point play, even celebrating with a flurry of punches.

Terry, who scored 32 points in Game 4, scored 15. Devin Harris also had 15 and Howard scored 16. Stackhouse added 10 and DeSagana Diop scored eight, nearly matching the 11 he'd scored the entire postseason.

Duncan broke 30 points for the fourth time this series after doing so only twice all season. Finley scored 12.

San Antonio's Robert Horry played his 209th playoff game, passing Scottie Pippen for second in NBA history. He's 28 behind the record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Game notes

Dallas' Keith Van Horn made his first appearance since breaking his right hand March 31 and had the unenviable task of guarding Duncan. He picked up four fouls in 2:54. ... The Mavericks didn't take their first free throw until 9:36 of the second quarter. ... Duncan finished 13-of-19. His 12-for-12 start tied the record set by Larry McNeill of Kansas City against Chicago on April 13, 1975.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 98
FGM-FGA 39-77 (.506) 37-69 (.536)
3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 2-9 (.222)
FTM-FTA 16-19 (.842) 22-31 (.710)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-38 6-30
Assists 12 18
Turnovers 13 12
Steals 5 6
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 9 14
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 10

Top Performers

San Antonio
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 31
Reb: 10
Ast: 4
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Tim Duncan Duncan
Points: 36
Reb: 12
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 3