Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris isn’t into consolation prizes.
Harris would rather go scoreless and have the Mavs win than score a bunch of points and have the Mavs lose.
Harris scored 19 points, but the Mavericks fell to the San Antonio Spurs 90-85 in Game 1 of the first-round best-of-seven series.
Harris tried to make sense out of the disappearing act that happened to the Mavs after they mounted an 81-71 lead with 7:45 remaining in the game, but were outscored 19-4 the rest of the way.
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“We were getting good looks, they just didn’t go in,” said Harris, who was 8-of-16 from the field and finished with 19 points and five assists. “At some point maybe we could slow it down and try to run something, but we don’t want to play against a set defense.
“We want to attack them when they’re spread out, we want to get in transition and play a little bit faster, so it’s a catch-22.”
Harris played 32 minutes.
Starting point guard Jose Calderon played just 16 minutes, was 3-of-9 from the field, and scored all seven of his points in the second half.
“He’s a very good scorer and he kind of got away from us [Sunday],” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said of Harris. “We are going to have to make some adjustments in that respect and prepare for him a little more.
“But at the same time we have to keep our eye on Dirk [Nowitzki] and [Monta] Ellis.”
Harris raced in for a layup, which gave the Mavs a 44-43 lead at the half.
His overall play helped the Mavs’ bench outscore their Spurs counterparts 46-23.
“Our bench has been big all year long,” Harris said. “It’s an important part of our team and what makes it so dynamic, so I think we’re a big part of this series.”
It will play a big part as the Mavs hope to win at least one road game in this series.
They’ll get a second shot at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Mavs on defense
The 90 points the San Antonio scored Sunday against the Mavs was just the seventh time all season the Spurs have been held to 90 or fewer points.
The Spurs came in sixth in the NBA in scoring with 105.4 points per game.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win this game,” forward Shawn Marion said. “We put ourselves in a great position.
“When you hold a team to 90 points, you’re supposed to win. But at the same time we’re supposed to be able to score the ball, too.”
Owner Mark Cuban, who has criticized the water in the River Walk in the past for being dirty, said he couldn’t tell if it was clean now because it was too dark while he watched it from his hotel room Saturday night.
“I’m assuming it was pristine,” Cuban said. “It was dark, so it’s hard to say. But I saw people with straws.”
In recent years, people have paid homage to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle for being the best in their craft.
“But they’re both great coaches,” Cuban said. “I don’t think anybody questions that Pop’s No. 1.”