The Dallas Mavericks scrapped and scraped their way to a 113-111 victory that sent their first-round series with the San Antonio Spurs to a decisive Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
Monta Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs pulled off another comeback to hold off the Spurs in the final minutes.
DeJuan Blair was an unlikely source of clutch plays, grabbing a pair of huge rebounds, breaking up and stealing another play and hitting a series of free-throws to keep Dallas in front.
The Mavericks used a 14-2 run powered largely by Monta Ellis to turn a five-point deficit into and eight-point lead.
That was before the Spurs reminded everyone that they aren’t a team to go quietly into the night. Tony Parker spun his way inside for an improbable basket.
Ellis and Parker then went the next two minutes trading shot for shot with the crowd on it’s feet, the Mavs guard coming out on top and restoring a six-point lead.
San Antonio did pull themselves back into the game as Danny Green – 7-7 from the floor in the game – knocked down one three before Patty Mills hit a three of his own to make the score 106-105.
The Mavericks tried to see the game out at the free throw line but tried to give San Antonio one more chance when Monta Ellis hurled the ball out of bounds with just over one second to play.
The Spurs inbounded the ball long – and had six players on the court unnoticed – and the ball was deflected out of bounds. Patty Mills’ ensuing three-point attempt was short and came after the buzzer had sounded.
Dirk Nowitzki has been held in check all series but this time was able to hit the majority of his signature spots – high arching fadeaways and a trademark one-leg shot from the free-throw line as part of Dallas’ 14-2 run.
Monta Ellis: 29 points, 11-22 FGS, 3-6 3 FGS
Dirk Nowitzki: 22 points, 11-20 FGS, 5 rebounds
Vince Carter: 13 points, 4-6 FGS, 6 rebounds
San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker: 22 points, 10-23 FGS, 6 assists
Tiago Splitter: 19 points, 4-7 FGS, 11-12 FTS
Danny Green: 17 points, 7-7 FGS, 5 rebounds
Game 7 @SAS: Sunday, May 4th. Tip: 3:30pm ET