The first game of a highly anticipated series left us with dominating performances in each half. As it turns out, Dallas bench is pretty good.
1Q Parker easily got in the lane early, but it took several attempts before a shot would fall for him. Meanwhile, San Antonio was slow to get after loose balls. But once The French Flash got going, things started to fall into place. Defense was leading to the Mavericks shooting poorly, Dirk racked up 2 fouls, Gooden hit the boards early, and 80% long range shooting left the Spurs with a 29-18 lead.
2Q Gooden continued to box out, something our bench lacked in last years playoffs, and also got active on offense, keeping things rolling while Duncan caught his breath. With 8:28 on the clock, Nowitzki picked up his 3rd foul, as the calls were very lopsided against Dallas in the first half. But with Dirk on the bench, his replacements went on a roll. San Antonio led by only 4 at the half, paced by Parker’s 13 points and 7 assists, and Duncan’s 10 points and 7 boards. San Antonio was owning the paint to the tune of 26-8, and only had 2 turnovers.
3Q Dallas grabbed a 2 point lead in two minutes, but San Antonio would stay in it. Finley stroked a 3 after a time out at 7:40, and soon after Dampier got away with a push. This fired up Tim and company, as San Antonio rolled off 9 straight points.
4Q Tied at 74, Dallas started the quarter strong, while San Antonio’s bench continued to punk out. Parker hit a rare 3, soon followed by more evidence that Mason can’t guard Barea. As the game wound down, Udoka showed flashes of doing something, but Parker started forcing bad shots, and Finley’s threes in the closing minutes weren’t enough as Dallas won by 8. 97-105
Review The Dallas bench killed us, combining for 39 points, compared to our 14. It didn’t help that Howard went off for 25 points in 29 minutes. San Antonio also had less rebounds, more turnovers, and less heart. Considering Dallas shot horribly in the first quarter, and how in favor of San Antonio the fouls were in the first half, I’m not quite sure how our shooting wound up worse, and had more fouls.
Game 2 Preview San Antonio needs to hit the boards harder. Shooting 80% long balls in the first quarter is great, but we need to keep shooting them in the second and third as well. Udoka showed flashes of being a player tonight, but needs to show more than 3 points, 5 boards and 2 assists in his 16 minutes. George Hill needs to get himself on the court too, because Parker does need some rest, and Mason can’t guard Kidd, much less Barea. Bonner needs to try grabbing a board too, 1 in 18 minutes is unacceptable.
Duncan: 27 pts, 9 boards Parker: 24 pts, 8 assists
Howard: 25 pts, 50% FGs, 29 minutes Bass/Barea/Terry: 39 pts, 17-31 FGs
Spurs bench scored a single point in the second half.