Final / 2OT
Series starts 11/4
|Game 1: Tuesday, November 4th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 2: Tuesday, December 9th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Tuesday, February 24th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 4: Wednesday, March 4th|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
8:30 PM ET, December 9, 2008
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
DALLAS -- Bruce Bowen got one foul, then another before the clock even started again. Dallas Mavericks fans loved every bit of it, cheering and taunting their least-favorite member of the San Antonio Spurs as he headed to the bench shaking his head.
• Tuesday's game featured 22 lead changes and 13 ties and was the first overtime game between these teams since Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals.
• Tim Duncan and Tony Parker led the Spurs to their highest point total since April 10, 2005 (136 points in a double-OT win at Golden State).
• Despite the multiple overtimes, San Antonio committed only seven turnovers all game, as opposed to 13 for the Mavs.
• The Spurs have won three in a row and seven of their last ten overall, while the Mavs had their four-game win streak snapped, and have lost four of their last five vs. the Spurs.
-- ESPN research
By the time the game was over, Bowen was the one standing on the court smiling and laughing. The few Mavs fans left were probably thinking about how much more they despise him.
A defensive specialist who recently lost his starting job, Bowen still knows how to nail an open 3-pointer, and he did exactly that with 1:47 left in a second overtime, putting the Spurs ahead for good in a 133-126 victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday night.
"Bruce is always ready," said Tim Duncan, who threw a pass from the lane to Bowen in the right corner. "That's his shot. We've been making that pass and catch and shot for a lot of years now. He stepped up and hit a big one for us. They called on him to give us some defensive help down the stretch and I thought he did a great job of that also."
Duncan scored eight of his 32 points in the decisive extra period, and Tony Parker added 29 points and 10 assists as the Spurs won for the seventh time in nine games. This one evened the season series between these Interstate-35 rivals, and added to their collection of thrilling performances.
There were six lead changes and three ties, and that was just in the overtimes. A clue that it was going to be that kind of finish was when Dallas shot 12-of-14 in the third quarter, made three more free throws than San Antonio and grabbed four more rebounds -- yet came out down by 2, just like when the quarter started.
"The trite comment that either team could have won is absolutely true," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We're thrilled to get it done in the end. For the most part these games go down to the wire. There's a lot of respect, a lot of competitiveness."
Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points and Jason Kidd added a season-high 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, but the Mavericks lost for only the second time in their last 11 games. They also had a five-game home winning streak snapped; they were 3-0 in a seven-game homestand and were eyeing a sweep.
The loss also came the same day they learned Josh Howard, their second-leading scorer and rebounder, would be out indefinitely because of an ankle injury that already kept him out of the previous eight games.
"It's tough, especially the way we have been playing," Kidd said. "If we play like we did tonight, we can win a lot of games."
Duncan matched his season in points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Ginobili scored 18 despite shooting only 7-of-21. He was 2-of-9 on 3-pointers.
J.J. Barea continued his inspiring play for the Mavericks, scoring 21 points before fouling out. He had a fourth-quarter stretch of 11 straight points created, eight by himself -- including a drive at Duncan and another around Parker -- and a drive-and-dish feed to Kidd for a 3-pointer.
Reserve Jason Terry had 19 points and a season-high nine rebounds, but he also had six turnovers; he lost a ball out of bounds on the baseline with 1:31 left in the second overtime and Dallas down a basket.
Down the stretch and throughout the overtimes, Dallas relied on its new three-guard lineup featuring Kidd, Barea and Terry.
"It was weird for us," Parker said. "We never saw them play like that. [Barea's] a little like Steve Nash, dribbling 100 times. Sometimes it's tough to guard him because you don't know what he's going to do."
Nowitzki tied it at 107 with 1:23 left in regulation, then both teams failed to score again, with Parker missing an open 21-footer just before time expired.
The Spurs had a great chance to close it out in the first overtime when Terry was called for a flagrant foul after taking Parker down hard from behind on a breakaway layup with 43 seconds left and San Antonio already up 115-113.
But Parker made only one of two free throws, then missed a jumper on the ensuing possession. Kidd tied it on a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left, then Ginobili missed a layup with 1.1 seconds to go. After a timeout, Nowitzki threw up an airball on a 28-foot fadeaway while covered by Duncan.
In the second overtime, Dallas had a chance to tie it at 127, but Erick Dampier -- a 58-percent foul shooter who had been 4-for-4 from the line to that point -- barely made it to the front rim on his first attempt. He swished his second, but the Mavericks never recovered.
Duncan began stretching the lead with a short basket off a terrific feed from Ginobili. Terry missed and Mason got the rebound, then made a pair of free throws to make it 131-126. When Nowitzki missed a 3-pointer with Bowen flying by him, all the tension and doubt about the outcome was gone.
It was the most points of the season scored for both teams. ... San Antonio went over 100 points for the third straight game. However, the Spurs also allowed over 100 points for only the second time in 16 games. ... Kidd actually scored two more points. While going for a rebound, he tipped in what would've been a miss by Bonner.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||49-100 (.490)||48-93 (.516)|
|3PM-3PA||10-25 (.400)||9-24 (.375)|
|FTM-FTA||25-29 (.862)||21-28 (.750)|
|Fast Break Points||24||13|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (1/0)||20 (1/1)|