During the final quarter of Game 1 between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, it looked like the media-dubbed “underdog” Mavericks had the Spurs cornered at 81-71. However, much like their entire season, Dallas managed to let the lead slip through their fingers in the eleventh hour as San Antonio went on a 15-0 run to beat the Mavericks 90-85 in the opener of their series.
However, Dallas managed to send a clear-cut sign to the favored number one seeded team: the Mavs will not go quietly, they will not yield. Those expecting a blowout were surely disappointed, even toward the end of the game where the Mavs couldn’t even hit water if they fell out of a boat down the stretch. It was Devin Harris who led Dallas with 19 points, which wasn’t enough to keep his team afloat, especially with All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki’s measly 11 points. Tim Duncan, who rested his ailing knee on the bench with only 3:24 remaining in the third quarter before coming back strong, finished with 27 points for his Spurs, followed by Tony Parker’s 21 points and six assists.
The beginning of the game started slow, with Dallas (who have the second-best offense in the league according to ESPN) missing seven of their first eight shots, but managed to turn it around after Harris came into the game and jump started a 15-0 push, which put his Mavs ahead 44-43 at halftime. San Antonio seemed to forget how to approach the three-pointer with vigor as they had all season, much to fans’ absolute horror, yet Dallas’ offense failed to be aggressive after rebounding… at least during the first three quarters of the game. It was clear that they found their original footing during the fourth with five minutes remaining, enough to nab the game from the Mavs.
This is a slight blow for the Mavericks, who are looking to make a statement by coming out strong during this matchup, though head coach Rick Carlisle knows that nothing is set in stone.
Game 2 between the Texas teams falls on Wednesday in San Antonio.