NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, May 2nd (All times Eastern)
(1) San Antonio Spurs (3-2) at (8) Dallas Mavericks (2-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will try and close out the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center Friday night when the two teams meet for Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Spurs took a 3-2 series lead with a 109-103 home victory in Game 5 Wednesday night.
"It's going to be another war next game," said Spurs center Tiago Splitter.
Tony Parker had 23 points on a bum ankle and Splitter scored nine of his 17 during a key fourth-quarter stretch.
Vince Carter's sixth 3-pointer got the Mavericks within four inside of three minutes remaining, but was followed by Parker's trey at the other end. His seventh made it a six-point game in the final minute, but Dallas was never able to get closer than five.
Earlier in the fourth, Splitter scored nine of San Antonio's 11 points during one three-minute span, two on a dunk to finish off a pick-and-roll.
The other two points in the stretch, in which Splitter single-handedly kept the Spurs' lead in double digits, came after the Brazilian center pulled down an offensive rebound and hit Parker with a backdoor pass for a layup.
Parker and Splitter both scored nine points in the quarter and Splitter ended with 12 rebounds -- half of them on the offensive end. Manu Ginobili added 19 points off the bench, Tim Duncan scored 16 with 12 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard had 15 points.
The Spurs dominated the game in the paint to the tune of 54-28. San Antonio committed a franchise playoff-low six turnovers and shot 50 percent from 3- point range.
Parker, who suffered a Grade 1 ankle sprain in Monday's Game 4, played after his fiancee gave birth early Wednesday morning to the point guard's first child.
"I basically didn't sleep the whole night and just played on adrenaline," said Parker. "I'm a happy man right now."
The Mavs aren't happy right now. They face an elimination game in their own building, a place where San Antonio won Game 4.
"The way you've got to look at it is you've got to win one home game," All- Star forward Dirk Nowitzki said after practice on Thursday. "That's what we've got to do. We'll worry about everything else after that. So, you know, it's a fun setup tomorrow. One game to win at home, and we're going to go for it."
Carter, 37, was 10-of-16 in 27 1/2 minutes off the bench. Nowitzki had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Dallas and Monta Ellis scored 21. Nowitzki got 14 of his points in the fourth quarter.
The Mavs played without big man DeJuan Blair, who was suspended one game by the NBA after kicking Splitter in the head during Game 4.
The Mavericks are trying to become the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, but must now win two straight -- which they've already done in Games 2 and 3.
If Dallas prevails, Game 7 will be Sunday in San Antonio. If the Spurs win on Friday, they could start Game 1 of the conference semifinals Sunday, if the Portland Trail Blazers close out the Houston Rockets on Friday. Should the Rockets extend the series, the Spurs would get a nice break.
05/02 10:42:43 ET