- Created on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 20:11
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
When this series began if you had taken bets on who thought the Dallas Mavericks would be fighting for their playoff lives four games into the series you would have been hard pressed to find any takers. Sure enough, it is the high powered Dallas Mavericks, not the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs, which are teetering on the brink of elimination.
Facing elimination in a series they were heavily favored to win, the Mavericks showed more of the form that saw them win a baker’s dozen in a row after the All-Star break Tuesday night at home, stingy defense and high scoring offense. It was not the usual suspect, Dirk Nowitzki, who still had a good night with 15 points and 9 boards, but the guy they brought in to make his job easier.
Caron Butler was added to help give the team some additional offensive fire power alongside Dirk Nowitzki. While he did play well during the regular season after joining the team at the All-Star break, he had yet to really show up when the team needed him most. That all changed on Tuesday with a 35 point and 11 rebound night to lead the team from the brink of elimination to within a game of tying it up.
Knowing they were in a must win situation, the Mavericks came out guns blazing on their home court. Behind the improved play of their trade acquisitions, Haywood and Butler, the Mavericks held a 7 point lead at halftime, 53-46. Butler was definitely leading the offense charge while Haywood was a big reason why the San Antonio’s main man, Tim Duncan, was held to just 11 points.
Dallas proved they were a team to be reckoned with in the third quarter. After outplaying the Spurs in all facets of the game in the first half and only having a seven point lead, they came out determined to put this game away early in the second half. With the offense stepping up and the defense stiffening up, the Mavericks outscored the Spurs by 11 for the period to open up the game 82-64.
Even thought the offense slowed down in the final quarter the defense remained tough only allowing the Spurs to score 17 (to Dallas’s 21). Thursday night the Mavericks will see if they can even the game up at 3 games apiece in San Antonio while the Spurs will get another chance to end the playoff dreams of the Mavericks.