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US NBA Playoff Spiel zwischen Dallas Mavericks und San Antonio Spurs
Image: reuters

NBA: Spurs oust Nowitzki's Mavs

May 5, 2014

The San Antonio Spurs have breezed past the Dallas Mavericks in the decisive Game 7 of their NBA Playoff series. French point guard Tony Parker was the star on the night, as the Spurs shot Dallas into submission.

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Dirk Nowitzki's hopes of a second NBA championship in 2014 ended on Sunday night in Texas, as the San Antonio Spurs smashed the Dallas Mavericks 119-96.

The Spurs raced away into an early lead, scoring an incredible 51 points in the first 16 minutes of play and opening up a 24 point lead. Dallas never managed to bring the deficit back within 10 points. Slippery point guard Tony Parker was on particularly sparkling form, with the Mavericks defense unable to prevent him penetrating at will. Parker scored 32 points on the night, also laying on four baskets for his teammates.

The Spurs' lead was so large in the latter phases that both sides allowed their substitutes to play out the closing minutes, the match's outcome already decided. German star Nowitzki chalked up his standard quota of 22 points on the night, almost exactly his per-game average for the season, but labored to get there. The sharpshooter managed to connect with only 8 of his 21 shots. Veteran power forward Tim Duncan scored just 15 for the Spurs but controlled Nowitzki well on the defensive end.

US NBA Playoff Spiel zwischen Dallas Mavericks und San Antonio Spurs
Nowitzki led the Mavs, but never really found his rangeImage: picture alliance/AP Photo

Other key Mavericks like guards Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis were largely shut out of the game by Parker and Manu Ginobli of the Spurs - with Ginobli also contributing 20 points on offense.

Unlikely run at an end

The Mavericks were always the underdogs in the series, seeded seventh to the Spurs' second in the Western Conference. As such, it was somewhat surprising that Dallas managed to go the distance in the best-of-seven series. The Mavs had sealed their return ticket across Texas on Friday night with a razor-thin 113-111 win in Game 6.

This year's first round of the NBA Playoffs set records in that regard, with an unprecedented five out of the eight series being played going to a seventh-game decider.

San Antonio will now meet the Portland Trailblazers, 4-2 winners in their series with the Houston Rockets, in the Western Conference semi-finals. The Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat also made it through the first round.

Nowitzki, 35, is a free agent at the end of this season, and ruled out an early extension to his contract. He has also said, however, that he would like to stay with the Mavs. The German, 2007 winner of the league's MVP (Most Valuable Player) award and 2011 NBA champion, has only ever represented Dallas in his career. Late in the 2013/14 regular season, Nowitzki made the top 10 of all-time NBA scorers, displacing Oscar Robertson from tenth position.

msh/lw (dpa, SID)

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