Raise your hand if you saw that coming. The Dallas Mavericks were outstanding Wednesday night in San Antonio, pulling ahead by as many as 24 and cruising to a 113-92 victory.
Here are my five thoughts on the Mavericks evening their best-of-seven series with San Antonio and winning their first game against the Spurs since 2012.
1.) The Mavericks were dominant at times but it’s not like they played the perfect game. They certainly played well, but the Spurs just looked terrible, turning the ball over 22 times (12 in the first half). I didn’t think the Mavericks had much of a chance in this series, facing a San Antonio team that won a league-best 62 games this season, but Game 2 changes some things. The Mavericks showed this might not be the four or five game series the top-seeded Spurs were hoping for.
2.) Devin Harris continued to be one of the most valuable players in a blue and white jersey. After scoring 19 in Game 1, Harris came off the bench to score 18 and dish out five assists on Wednesday. When Harris wasn’t pushing the point in the third quarter, starter Jose Calderon did a great job of helping the Mavs begin to pull away, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the quarter. It’s not often that another team’s point guard(s) outplay Tony Parker in a playoff game.
3.) Nice bounce back for Dirk and Co. Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Monta Ellis combined for 57 points, much better than the 30 they netted in Game 1. The Big 3 for each team have been the key through two games. Manu Ginobili played well, leading all scorers with 27, but Tim Duncan and Parker only combined for 23. Those two went for 48 on Sunday. Continue to hold them down and the Mavs have a chance to steal this series. Knowing the Spurs, that’s obviously going to be a lot easier said than done.
4.) Where do they go from here? The Mavericks have the home court advantage now, returning to Dallas for the next two games (Saturday and Monday). San Antonio could really be put in a hole if the Mavs take the next two. That seems very unlikely, though. The Spurs lost three in a row only once during the regular season. San Antonio also lost two consecutive to start the season. That’s it. It’s tough to beat this veteran bunch two times in a row.
5.) There wasn’t much to criticize on the Dallas side. The Spurs knocked down 50 percent of their 3s and it was still a blowout. About the only time the Mavs didn’t look sure of themselves was at halftime. The TXA 21 broadcast aired a short clip of several Mavericks at a photo shoot earlier in the year. The players were instructed to get something out of a cooler. When they opened the lid, a fake snake showed its head. Needless to say, the reactions were outstanding. All of the players, including Nowitzki, Marion and Ellis jumped back in horror. Several players had to have their cussing bleeped out, but all had a good laugh when they found out it was a prank. Fantastic entertainment.