With a little over 8 minutes to play, Dallas was on course to pull off the biggest shock of the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs.
Ahead 81-71, the Mavericks’ offense was clicking while their defense was doing a great job disrupting San Antonio’s rhythm and flow.
Then the Spurs remembered they are the Spurs, ripping off a huge fourth-quarter turnaround to emerge victors, 90-85.
San Antonio embarked on a 15-1 run to take command of the game, holding the Mavericks without a field goal for over five minutes.
Tim Duncan scored 10 of his 27 points and hit four of five shots in the final quarter as he won yet another edition of the Duncan-Dirk rivalry.
Tony Parker carved the Mavericks defense open down the stretch, feeding Splitter after a pick-and-roll play to tie the game before giving the Spurs the lead with a trademark meandering drive to the rim.
Dallas’ offense struggled to get anything resembling an open look down the stretch as Monta Ellis, Devin Harris and Vince Carter routinely tried to drive to the rim only to find the paint shut down by Splitter and Duncan.
Duncan scored his 27 points despite suffering a minor injury earlier in the game.
Dirk Nowitzki would finish with just 11 points and missed 19 of his 14 field goal attempts as San Antonio were able to limit his effectiveness.
Devin Harris led the Mavericks in scoring from the bench with 19 points on 8-16 shooting, one of only two Mavs to score in double digits and shoot 50 percent or better.
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan: 27 points, 12-20 FGS, 7 REB
Tony Parker: 21 points, 9-16 FGS, 6 AST
Manu Ginobilli: 19 points, 4-10 FGS, 6-6 FTS
Devin Harris: 19 points, 8-16 FGS, 5 AST
Dirk Nowitzki: 11 points, 4-14 FGS, 8 REB
Monta Ellis: 11 points, 4-14 FGS
Game 2: Wednesday, April 23rd, 8pm ET