Mavericks at Spurs
6 p.m. Wednesday, AT&T Center, San Antonio
TV: KTXA/21, TNT
Radio: ESPN/103.3 FM, KFLC/1270 AM (Spanish)
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Series: Tied 2-2
About the Mavs: They had so much going for them after snatching home court advantage away from the Spurs with a Game 2 victory in San Antonio and Saturday’s shocking win via a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Vince Carter. But the Mavs gave all those good tidings right back when they failed to show up in the second quarter of Monday’s 93-89 home loss in Game 4. The Spurs outscored the Mavs 32-13 in the second period to regain home-court advantage. ... Dallas hurt its chances by missing 10 free throws, with center Samuel Dalembert going 1 of 6 from the line after starting the series 7 for 7. ... Forward DeJuan Blair is suspended for Game 5 after kicking Tiago Splitter in the head. Blair’s energy will be missed. He has 22 points, 18 rebounds and six steals in 37 minutes. ... The Mavericks must find a way to get Dirk Nowitzki going. Nowitzki has a 25.6 career playoff scoring average yet he hasn’t scored even 20 points in any of the four games in this series. It’s just the second time in his 16-year career that Nowitzki has gone four consecutive playoff games without at least 20 points.In 2001, Nowitzki’s first playoff experience, he was held below 20 in the series-clinching game against the Utah Jazz, and then the first three games of the conference semifinals against the Spurs.
About the Spurs: They showed their playoff experience by overcoming an early 10-point deficit in a hostile setting, then regrouping when their 20-point lead evaporated under a furious Mavericks surge. ... The Spurs avoided blowing the biggest lead in NBA postseason history. The mark is 19 points, by the Spurs against the Mavericks in 2003. ... The Spurs’ bench, which averaged an NBA-best 41.5 points per game in the regular season, outscored the Mavericks’ reserves 50-30. The Spurs’ bench made 17 of 32 shots. Manu Ginobili led the way with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting. His slashing drives cut a swath to the basket that resulted in five assists and more made free throws (8) than anyone else even attempted. Boris Diaw added 17 points on 7-of-12 shots, including the key 3-pointer with 32.9 seconds left that put the Spurs up 90-87. ... The Spurs held Nowitzki and Monta Ellis to 39 points on 13-of-39 shooting in Game 4. ... The Spurs’ front line of Tim Duncan (14 points, 10 rebounds), Splitter (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Kawhi Leonard (seven points, 12 rebounds) combined for 31 points and 34 rebounds in Game 4.
— Dwain Price