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Spurs Hold Off Mavericks to Tie Series, Grizzlies Look to Move Ahead in Game 5

Amid a Dallas Maverick’s third-quarter rally, the San Antonio Spurs still managed to hold them off and get a 93-89 win on Monday. This series is now tied at 2-2.

Down 20 points, Dallas fought back and took a lead in the fourth quarter on DeJauan Blair’s play, Monta Ellis’ shots and defense. But San Antonio said not so fast as the game went back and forth until the end. Boris Diaw played with 3-point magic including his final go-ahead shot with 32 seconds remaining in the game; however, it was Manu Ginobili’s free throws that finally led the Spurs to their victory.

Manu Ginobli

Manu Ginobli

For the night, Ginobli, who came off the bench, scored 23 points while Diaw added 17 points. Their bench play led to the Spurs outscoring Dallas’ 50-30 (26-9 in the game’s first half) in the game.

Diaw said via the Associated Press, “We knew that we could do better. We didn’t play the same like we did during the regular season.”

The Spurs had two players with double doubles: Tim Duncan (14 points and 10 rebounds) and Tiago Splitter (10 points and 12 boards). Late in the fourth quarter, Splitter was kicked in the head by his former teammate, Blair, who got ejected for the action.

As for Dallas, Monta Ellis scored 20 points (six of 20 shooting) while Dirk Nowitzki added 19–his highest scoring night of this series–but he hit only seven of 19 shots and through the four games to-date for the series, he has only made 25 of 65 shots (38.5 percent). On Monday, he struggled with Diaw guarding him.

Looking ahead, the series will now return to San Antonio for Wednesday’s Game 5. Vegas hasn’t picked a winner yet but for the 2014 NBA Championship, gives the Spurs 7/2 odds to win it while Dallas has 50/1 odds to do so.

In other Southwest division action, the Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. Their series is also tied at 2-2.

Zach Randolph has been challenged by the defensive duo of the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. While Randolph has seen his average points rise to 18.3 per game (up from 17.4), he has only shot 36 percent and there’s been more drop offs. His rebounds have fallen to an average of 8.5 per game, and for free throws, he’s only made 19 of 30.

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph

What will the Thunder have in store for him in Game 5? Randolph has said he has no plans on changing his play.

For Oklahoma City, they’ll again utilize this challenging team of Ibaka and Perkins team. Ibaka was No.4 in voting for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor; he has a minimum of four blocks in three of four games this series.

The veteran Perkins is unwilling to budge when it comes to defending Randolph.

As for the Thunder, will the Kevin Durant – Russell Westbrook duo show up for this game? In Game 4 they did not as they both scored 15 points apiece. Durant went 5-of-21 and Westbrook was 6-of-24 in this off night.

But fortunately reserve Reggie Jackson showed up with his 32 points–a career high. Jackson’s five points at the end of regulation helped his team land in overtime; however, he didn’t stop there as he scored eight points in the extra quarter.

This comes after Jackson had only scored a combined 15 points in the previous series games.

For Tuesday’s matchup, the Grizzlies will hope history is on their side as they play on the Thunder’s home court. They are 4-3 all-time for Game 5 (1-1 all-time for this fifth game when playing against the Thunder) and for the league’s best-of-seven series when tied at 2-2, the Game 5 winner advances to win the series at 85.9 percent of the time.

Maybe not on Tuesday as Vegas give the win to the Thunder (-6.5, 186.5 o/u).



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