Monta is a closer. The Mavericks don't die. DeJuan Blair is raining vengeful hellfire on his former team. And I don't even know what happened at the end of the game.
Dallas beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 in a wild, ridiculous finish, and will head to San Antonio on Sunday to finish the series with some Game 7 action.
As the players joked after the game, this team never makes things easy in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, despite two of-course-they-went-in San Antonio triples and a Monta Ellis turnover when all he had to do was take a foul, a game-winning 3-point attempt was way short and the Mavericks held on.
Ellis scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting in the final quarter, and Vince Carter had an equally important eight, including 4-of-4 from the line. And yet even then, DeJuan Blair might have been the most important player with a 10 and 14 double-double. Coming off the Game 5 suspension, his physicality showed up more times than his 6-foot-6 stature in the battle for the paint.
Until that third quarter, the Mavericks held a halftime lead for nearly the entirety of the first half, although it certainly wasn't always pretty. Despite Danny Green coming alive for 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter, the Mavericks consistently forced the Spurs into mid-range jumpers -- makeable shots, but something you have to concede against a great offense like the Spurs.
It continued in the first six minutes of the second quarter, and the Mavericks needed every stop they managed, because strange things were happening on the other end of the court. Basketballs slipped out of hands. Simple exchanges were bungled. Wild passes were thrown that would have made middle school coaches shake their heads.
The end result was five turnovers in the first six minutes, all of the "facepalm" variety. It got better in the final half, with the Mavericks trading blows back and forth and taking a 58-52 lead into the locker room.
Dirk had 12 points in the first two frames, and finished with 22 on 11-of-20 shooting. Despite four turnovers, only one occurred in the second half.
The Mavericks will play at either noon or 2:30 on Sunday, in San Antonio for all the stakes.