The Spurs moved on, and Dallas is done early again.
Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and San Antonio survived blowing a 22-point lead to beat the Mavericks 97-87 in Game 6 on Thursday night, handing Dirk Nowitzki and second-seeded Dallas another first-round exit.
Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood gave the Dallas Mavericks the energy, toughness and scoring they needed — in other words, everything the Mavs expected when they traded for them a few months ago.
Butler scored a career playoff-best 35 points and had 11 rebounds, and Haywood provided a strong inside presence at both ends in his first start of this postseason, keeping the Mavericks alive by leading them to a 103-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Keith Bogans scored 17 points and the San Antonio Spurs kept control over their playoff future with a 133-111 win over the Timberwolves on Monday night.
The Spurs emptied their bench early and stayed on track to avoid the dreaded No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Finally a Laker, Ron Artest won’t guarantee another ring for his new team.
Especially not since some recent NBA champions made moves that could get them back to the top.
Boston and San Antonio signed veteran power forwards Wednesday, with Rasheed Wallace joining the Celtics and Antonio McDyess agreeing to a deal with the Spurs.
Tony Parker scored a career-high 55 points, including a 20-footer at the buzzer to force a second overtime, in the San Antonio Spurs’ 129-125 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night
After Al Jefferson backed down Tim Duncan and sank a turnaround hook to put Minnesota up 116-114 with 2½ seconds left in the first overtime, Parker took the inbounds pass, dribbled right, pump-faked once and let the ball fly. He let a sly smile creep across his normally stone face as the Wolves trudged back to the bench.
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers waited until the third quarter to get going. Once they did, the San Antonio Spurs couldn’t stop them.
Bryant scored all but two of his 27 points after halftime, including a go-ahead, 10-foot jumper in the lane with 23.9 seconds remaining, and the Lakers rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat the Spurs 89-85 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Game 2 will be played Friday night before the best-of-seven series shifts to San Antonio for the third and fourth games. The Lakers are 7-0 in the postseason at Staples Center, where they’ve won 13 straight games overall.
May 22, 2008
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