The Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs Friday night 113-111 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas to put themselves in a position to compete for a game 7 on Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center. The Mavericks came into game 6 trailing 3-2 and losers of two straight games in the series.
How they were able to do it?
Monta Ellis put the 4th quarter in his own hands. Ellis finished the game with 29 points with 12 of them coming in the 4th quarter. That performance by Ellis helped lead a comeback as the Mavs trailed by 5 heading into the 4th quarter. DeJuan Blair was suspended for game 5 but he let his presence show in game 6 by contributing 14 rebounds which included 5 of them on the offensive end. Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, playing a supporting role for Monta Ellis. The Mavericks were able to score 37 points in the 4th quarter and shoot 57% from the field.
What to expect in game 7?
The San Antonio Spurs are facing becoming the third one seeded team to fall to the 8 seed team in the last 7 years. The last two teams to do it were the 2007 Dallas Mavericks to the Golden State Warriors, and these same San Antonio Spurs in 2011 to the Memphis Grizzlies. Some experts believe that San Antonio was not fully healthy with Manu Ginobili missing the series.
To a lot of Mavs and Spurs fans, this series reminds them of the 2006 semi conference finals when the Mavs beat the Spurs in 7 games. The 7th game happened to be at the same AT&T Center that the Mavericks will be at Sunday afternoon. That 7th game went into overtime where Dirk Nowitzki had one of his all-time memorable performances. Both Mavs and Spurs fans remember when Ginobili fouled Nowitzki which sent Nowitzki to the free throw line which put the Mavs in OT to ultimately win the game and the series.
History shows that Dirk Nowitzki will be ready for game 7. Nowitzki is 4-0 in Game 7s throughout his career. Nowitzki has averaged 28 points and nearly 15 rebounds in Game 7s. Veterans on the Mavs like Vince Carter and Shawn Marion could potentially be playing for all the marbles on Sunday afternoon as it may be their last game in Mavericks uniforms. They are veterans; history shows that veterans are ready for game 7s. Monta Ellis who was a member of the 2007 Golden State Warriors always feels that he has something to prove. He showed that in game 6 and we can expect that in game 7.
The San Antonio Spurs are led by their dynamic trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. On top of that, the Spurs have a future hall of fame coach in Gregg Popovich. Despite the pressure they may have, they will be ready to play. On top of that, they are at home.
In other words, this has all of the potential to be a classic Texas two-step in the Alamo city. Two veteran teams that are throwing everything out of the window for this one final game, at least for now.