The Spurs own Texas

The Spurs said they were going to treat Game 6 at home as if it were a Game 7, and that’s the right mentality. You want to close the series out at home if you can, because winning a Game 7 on the road is no easy task.

San Antonio jumped out to a big lead early in the game, and were up 35-16 in the middle of the second quarter when Mavs rookie Roddy Beaubois entered the game. Over the course of the next 16 minutes, Beaubois would score 16 points and lead the Mavs on a 45-28 run that would bring Dallas to within two points with 2:43 to play in the third quarter. The Spurs simply didn’t have an answer for him on the defensive end.

With the Mavs trailing by seven, Beaubois started the fourth quarter on the bench, and didn’t re-enter the game until there was 2:44 remaining in the game. Rick Carlisle wanted to get Jason Terry going, and while he did hit a six-foot runner to cut the lead to two with six minutes to play, that was the only shot he made all night. Mavs fans are left wondering what would have happened had Carlisle brought Beaubois back earlier in the quarter.

From the Spurs perspective, check out this series of scores in the fourth quarter:

6:33 Tony Parker makes 18-foot jumper
5:50 Antonio McDyess makes 13-foot jumper
4:47 George Hill makes 10-foot two point shot
4:07 Antonio McDyess makes 17-foot jumper
3:18 George Hill makes 23-foot three point jumper
1:28 Tony Parker makes 20-foot jumper

Notice anything? For a team that usually leans on Manu Ginobili drives and Tim Duncan post ups, the Spurs scored on jump shots on six possessions in just over five minutes. During that stretch, Tim Duncan didn’t take a single shot, Ginobili missed three shots and Parker missed a 16-footer. Otherwise, they were all made jumpers by McDyess, Hill and Parker. (Ginobili and Duncan did combine for five assists during that stretch.)

After a 29-point performance that essentially won Game 4 for the Spurs, George Hill scored 21 points tonight on 12 shots. Ginobili finished with 26, Tim Duncan had 17 and Tony Parker chipped in with 10. Hill gives the Spurs another offensive weapon to go to in crunch time when the Spurs’ “Big 3” need a break or just aren’t getting it done. As Reggie Miller noted, Hill was a great scorer in high school and college, so he can “score with the best of them.”

I’ll write more about the Mavs tomorrow. As it stands, they just seem like they’ve been snakebitten since losing the 2006 Finals to Dwyane Wade and the Heat. I can’t imagine what is going through Mark Cuban’s mind right now after making several big acquisitions (Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood) over the past few years. He was expecting that this team would make a run to the Finals, but instead, they just lost Game 6 to their arch-rivals and are heading home in the first round. Ouch.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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