DALLAS, May 19 (Ticker) --
The San Antonio Spurs were lucky to have
and Tim Duncan
. The Dallas Mavericks could have
used Jason Terry
Ginobili scored 30 points and Duncan had a big second half to
lead the Spurs to a 91-86 victory over the Mavericks in Game 6
of their Western Conference Semifinal series.
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In winning three NBA titles over the last seven years, the Spurs
have shown they can handle pressure. They have driven that
point home by avoiding elimination for the second straight time.
On Monday, San Antonio will attempt to finish its comeback from
a 3-1 deficit, something just eight teams have done in NBA
"The experience helps but honestly, it's one game," Duncan said.
"It's going to be a basketball game and the emotions are going
to be there. It's going to come down to who shows up, to who
makes shots, to who makes plays down the stretch.
"Now it comes down to one game," said Dirk Nowitzki
, who scored
26 points and had 21 rebounds. "Game 7. We've been in one
before. We'll see how it goes. If we execute better offensively
we should be OK. We should be confident, we did go into San
Antonio and won Game 2.
San Antonio entered Friday just 1-4 on the road in the
postseason but got huge games from Ginobili and Duncan, while
Dallas struggled on offense down the stretch without Terry.
"This win was huge because if we hadn't won, we would be out of
here," Ginobili said. "We haven't gotten too confident because
we haven't accomplished anything yet. We've got to try to finish
the job on Monday."
Terry was suspended for one game by the NBA on Thursday for
throwing a punch at Michael Finley
during a scrum in the waning
seconds of Game 5. The Mavericks sorely missed him as Terry's
quickness and outside shooting have given the slower Spurs fits
throughout the series. He is averaging 17.5 points and sealed a
Game 4 win with a rainbow jumper over the 7-foot Duncan in
the final minute.
In Terry's absence, the Mavericks started Jerry Stackhouse
alongside Devin Harris
in the backcourt, and the duo struggled,
shooting a combined 7-of-29 from the field and committing seven
"We missed his shooting," Nowitzki said. "He's one of the
special shooters in this league. He stretches the floor for us
offensively. They clogged us up pretty good in there. They were
playing Devin's drives all night and waiting for him at the rim.
We just couldn't get anything to go but saying all that, we
still battled and had our chances to win."
Ginobili scored 17 of his points in the first half, keeping the
Spurs close as the Mavericks opened a 47-41 lead. The game was
tied at 67-67 after three quarters and Ginobili scored with 6:25
to play in the fourth to give San Antonio its biggest lead,
"Manu carried us the entire game," Duncan said. "In the first
half, he's the one that kept us alive. He gave us the
opportunity to go into half time down only six. He continues to
make shots for us, he continues to make plays for us and on top
of that he was great rebounding the ball."
Trying to reach the conference finals for just the second time
since 1988, the fourth-seeded Mavericks tied the game at 82-82
when Harris split a pair of free throws with 2:59 remaining.
A former Maverick who was constantly booed by Dallas fans,
Finley buried a 3-pointer on San Antonio's next possession and,
after a basket by Harris, Duncan scored in the lane to make it
87-84 with 1:48 to go.
"The boos are unfortunate, especially in a place where I feel I
gave my blood and guts on the court and tried to be a model
citizen," Finley said. "For my family to not be able to come to
the games and enjoy them because of the things the fans are
saying is disheartening. Now that I know I'm the enemy, it makes
me go out there and play harder."
"Finley was great tonight," Duncan said. "He was big for us,
just being mentally tough, knowing that the type of situation
he's in. He continues to play through all of it."
Nowitzki had a reverse layup with 17 seconds left to make it
87-86. Ginobili made two free throws and Finley thwarted Dallas
again, forcing Nowitzki to shoot an airball from the corner on a
"I really had nothing," Nowitzki said. "Fin was all over me and
I probably should have drove it, hit a quick two and get another
"Dirk's First-Team NBA," Finley said. "Any time he has the ball,
he's a shot waiting to happen. I just wanted to make his shots
difficult. Even the one's I was contesting, he was making.
Unfortunately for them, he missed the one at the end."
capped the scoring with a pair of free throws.
Ginobili added 10 rebounds and was 12-of-13 from the line.
Duncan scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half and Finley
added 16 for San Antonio.
"Once I saw Tim was in foul trouble and things were going pretty
well for me," Ginobili said. "We realized that it was going to
be a great opportunity for me to attack more or take more shots,
It went very well."
"I got a chance to play (in the second half)," Duncan said. "I
was in a foul situation in the first half. I spent a lot of time
on the bench. I didn't shoot the ball very well today, but I
just kind of stuck with it. I got some shots to fall down
towards the end there. Pop keeps calling my number and giving me
scored 17 points for the Mavericks, who suffered
their first home loss of the postseason (4-1).
"It was a tough game and obviously a tough loss for us,"
Nowitzki said. "We didn't play well now we've got to go to
their place where it will be tough to win."