If game four was all about the Spurs' role players stepping up, this time it was the Mavericks' turn to return the favor. Facing elimination, the Mavericks played like a team with no tomorrow and outplayed the Spurs right from the get go.
Caron Butler provided the offense for the Mavs, scoring 35 points with 11 boards and Brendan Haywood gave the inside toughness that Dallas needed, he finished with 8 points and 8 boards in 31 minutes of action.
Now let's look at the numbers that helped the Mavs to extend this series.
35.9 - After averaging 48.0% in field goal percentage in the first four games of the series, the Spurs went cold in this one; making just 28 of 78 of their shots or 35.9% for the entire game.
28 - Roger Mason Jr. get the minutes he wanted and played for 28 minutes. However, he did not take advantage of his time on the floor. Hitting only 1 of 6 shots as he scored 3 points with 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls.
21? - Tim Duncan started the series on a strong note, scoring 25 or more points in the first 3 games. But #21 has only averaged 7.5 points over the last two games. Not a good sign for the Spurs.
4 - Brendan Haywood has 4 blocks in this game as he provided good interior defense for the Mavs.
Richard Jefferson took only 4 shots in 24 minutes after scoring 15 in Game 4 and Manu Ginobili committed 4 turnovers in just 18 minutes of play.
The Spurs need to realize that they need to win 4 games to advance to the second round.
0 - Keith Bogans went 0-5 from the field in 12 minutes of playing time.
Points to Ponder
- The Spurs came out flat in this game, not the right way to close out an opponent. They have to be prepared mentally and physically for the Mavs in Game 6
- Coach Gregg Popovich opted to give the starters a little more rest instead of trying to come back for the win and end the series.
- The Mavs responded by pure aggression and playing better basketball overall.
- The Spurs will have homecourt as they try to finish the series in six games at home. However, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have not played very well the last 2 games. If the Spurs want to end this series in six, they will need Timmy and Manu to be themselves.
- The Mavericks might be feeling good about themselves after a blowout victory despite trailing the Spurs in this series 3-2.