Culture of Hoops

Bad blood: San Antonio Spurs berate Dallas Mavericks in Game 7

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Well, there was no need for Viagra in San Antonio on Sunday afternoon for Spurs fans. It became quite clear during the first half of a pivotal Game 7 that it would be the veteran team who would move on to the second round of the NBA playoffs, considering the fact that their opponents, the Dallas Mavericks, were playing about as well as Stephen Hawking in a 5k foot race. While peering at the final 119-96 score, sports analysts and fans alike must have figured one of two things occurred at the AT&T Center: The Dallas Mavericks, who sailed into glory last Friday evening by taking Game 6, accidently left all their talent back in Dallas at the American Airlines Center, or were auditioning for roles in the next “Hangover” installment. Either way, devastated fans suddenly realized that their precious Mavs were the black guy in a horror film and watched helplessly as the Spurs picked them apart piece-by-piece.

The Spurs “California Chromed” it right out of the gate and were ahead 24-16 with 2:53 during the first quarter. The Mavericks were already reeling when head coach Rick Carlisle started yelling “IT’S A FLOP!” at disgruntled officials when Shawn Marion was whistled for a foul on Manu Ginobili after the latter took to the floor in a dramatic fashion. Carlisle, having been pushed to edge after watching odd calls the entire series, received a technical foul for his outburst. With 31.6 seconds remaining in the first, a technical was then called on the Spurs’ Tony Parker (who already had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting) after he taunted DeJuan Blair, indicating that the heated rivalry was about to come to a head during this game. Dallas would trail 35-23 going into the second.

The second quarter pretty much started the same way the first ended: with fouls. After sending Ginobili to the ground on a drive, Blair was issued a flagrant foul with 10:31 remaining on the clock. Later in the quarter, Vince Carter received a flagrant after taking down Ginobili, but the call was overturned when it became clear that Carter became wrapped up with him by accident. The Spurs Big Three (Parker, Ginobili and Tim Duncan) had already outscored all of Dallas’ roster 47-36. The Mavericks, shooting a measly 35.1 percent, would head into the locker room trailing the San Antonio Spurs 68-46.

A spark of life was cast in the third as Dallas went on a mini-run when Carlisle tweaked his lineup and managed to cut the Spurs lead to 14 early on, but the fire failed to ignite as Dallas’ hopes diminished into the stale desert air. The blowout would end the Mavericks’ playoff run and close the 2013-14 season with a depressing whimper.

San Antonio moves on the play the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

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