The Alamo City was largely despondent Wednesday night, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on April 23, in front of a sold out AT&T Center to even the first round series 1-1.
Turnovers plagued the Spurs throughout the night, as they could not shake the urge to give away the ball. San Antonio had an astonishing 24 turnovers for the game, with Dallas converting those mistakes into 33 points.
“It’s 24 turnovers,” said a somber Spurs Head Greg Popovich after the game. “Its something that’s hurt us all year long; when we’ve had games like that we’ve been unsuccessful. That’s been the weak link for us throughout the year when we’ve lost a game and it showed again tonight.”
The lone bright spot for San Antonio was Manu Ginobili’s play. The Argentinean guard looked a version of his younger self, scoring 27 points on the night. But even he had his share of turnovers, contributing six to the overall total.
“I thought they beat us in every aspect of the game,” said the Argentinean. ”They played harder; our defense was not as aggressive as theirs. It was a really bad combination of poor defense and turnovers.”
San Antonio started the game promising, jumping out to an early 11-4 lead. The Mavericks would find their footing though, answering the Spurs with an 8-2 run to bring the score to 13-12, before eventually taking the lead at the end of the quarter 24-23. The turnovers started to show early on as Dallas displayed great defensive poise, forcing nine San Antonio turnovers in the first quarter alone.
The play was much of the same in the second quarter, with Dallas extending their lead to 12 with the score 49-37. The Mavs would force the Spurs to commit an additional six turnovers in the second, before San Antonio would close the 12-point gap to five at the close of the quarter.
The Spurs started the third quarter trailing 56-51 with 15 turnovers. Ginobili had 10 of his 27 points in the third quarter, as he desperately tried to bring the Spurs back into the game. The play of the night for San Antonio came at the four minute mark as Spurs center Tiago Splitter passed the ball behind his back on a no-look pass play to a wide open Ginobili, who hit his second consecutive three. The shot would make the score 74-67, with San Antonio still trailing. Dallas would answer back though, going on a 14-8 run, to end the quarter leading 88-75.
Everything went the Mavericks’ way in the fourth quarter, as they extended their lead to as many as 20, before ended the game with the score 113-92.
With the series even at 1-1 San Antonio now faces a difficult challenge going into Dallas for games two and three.
“Having such a poor performance in the playoffs really bothers me,” a worrisome Ginobili said after the game. “We’re going to have to play much better in Dallas to have a chance.”
The city of San Antonio will undoubtedly be hoping for the same.
Game three is set for tip-off at 3:30 at the American Airlines Center on April 26.