The Dallas Mavericks came away with a huge 109-108 victory to take a 2-1 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs.
Vince Carter took the ball on an inbounds pass from Jose Calderon deep in the corner, rising to knock down a three at the buzzer .
Carter’s three came at the end of a terrific duel of offensive execution between two of the best-coached teams in the NBA. Manu Ginobilli had given the Spurs a one point lead just seconds before as he wandered down a wide-open lane.
Monta Ellis put in the leg work to make sure Dallas had a shot at winning the game, scoring on several different looks including an and-one score after a foul by Boris Diaw. Ellis tied the game from the line before Diaw himself sunk a floater.
Ellis came back down the floor again and after a great play by the Mavs to get him open, drained a floater of his own, setting the floor for Ginobilli and Carter’s last-minute dramatics.
Carter’s three meant he finished with 11 points while Ellis had a career playoff-high 29 points. Dirk Nowitzki has been relatively quiet all series as the Spurs have sent numerous different bodies at the big man to keep it that way. He had 18 points on 7-13 from the floor.
Dallas’ Sam Dalembert also played a key role down the stretch, grabbing a Dirk Nowitzki miss before drawing a foul and tying the game at 104 from the free-throw line. He posted 13 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Tony Parker had 19 points for San Antonio but was ineffective down the stretch. Tim Duncan added 22 points and Kawhi Leonard 17 in his best performance of the playoffs so far.
The win for Dallas sets up a pivotal Game 4 on Monday night, a chance for the Mavericks to send the top-seeded Spurs to the brink.
Monta Ellis: 29 points, 12-22 FGS, 3 assists
Dirk Nowitzki: 18 points, 7-13 FGS, 7 rebounds
Jose Calderon: 16 points, 7-10 FGS, 9 assists
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan: 22 points, 8-14 FGS, 5 rebounds
Tony Parker: 19 points, 9-18 FGS, 6 assists
Kawhi Leonard: 18 points, 7-8 FGS, 5 rebounds
Game 4: Monday April 28th, Tip: 9:30pm