Spurs try to force Game 7 against Dallas
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks try to eliminate the defending world champion San Antonio Spurs when the teams meet tonight at American Airlines Center for Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinals set.
Dallas leads this best-of-seven series 3-2. If San Antonio wins tonight, Game 7 of the set is scheduled to be played on Monday at the AT&T Center.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks entered Game 5 with a 3-1 lead in the series and a chance to advance to the conference finals, but it was not meant to be. Tim Duncan shot 13-of-19 from the floor for a season-high 36 points as the top- seeded Spurs fought off elimination with a 98-97 win over Dallas on Wednesday at the AT&T Center.
Duncan also collected 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Tony Parker netted 27 in the win for the Spurs. Manu Ginobili, who hit the game-winning free throw, scored 18 points and dished out five assists and Michael Finley scored 12 and grabbed seven rebounds in the victory.
All-Star Dirk Nowitzki finished with 31 points and 10 boards in the loss for the Mavericks, while Josh Howard netted 16 and pulled down eight rebounds. Jason Terry, who ended with 32 points in Game 4, had 15 points and five assists and Devin Harris scored 15 in defeat.
Terry will not be on the court tonight, as he will serve a one-game suspension handed down on Thursday by the NBA. Terry was suspended for punching Finley during the fourth quarter of Game 4.
San Antonio is 2-2 in its last four games when facing elimination from the postseason. The Spurs have won six of their last eight Game 6s in the playoffs. They have never comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series.
The Mavericks have won three of their last five games when they have had the chance to eliminate their opponent from the postseason. They have lost five straight Game 6s in the playoffs.
Dallas has never lost a playoff series when it led 3-1.
The Mavericks, who knocked out Houston in seven games during last year's first round, were eliminated in six games in the 2005 Western Conference semifinals by the Phoenix Suns. They have advanced to the conference finals just twice in franchise history (1988, 2003) and have never been to the NBA Finals.
Dallas has reached at least the conference semifinals for the fifth time in the last six years. The Mavericks were ousted by Sacramento in the first round of the 2004 playoffs during that span.
The Spurs knocked off the Detroit Pistons in seven games in last year's NBA Finals and have won the NBA title in two of three and three of the last seven years (1999, 2003, 2005).
San Antonio has reached at least the conference semifinals five straight years. The Spurs defeated Dallas in five in the 2001 semis, lost to the Lakers in five in 2002, beat the Lakers in six in the second round of the 2003 playoffs, fell to the Lakers in six in 2004 and beat Seattle in six contests in last year's semifinals.
This is the third time that these teams have met in the postseason. San Antonio knocked out the Mavericks in the 2001 semis and defeated Dallas in six games in the 2003 conference finals.DAL SAN