Manu Ginobli was a late scratch in Wednesday’s game, and yet the Spurs didn’t miss a step in their dominance over the Dallas Mavericks, winning 112-90.
Both teams were playing their second half of a back-to-back, but by the looks of it, Dallas was the only one that showed any sign of it. All 11 players that suited up for the Spurs scored, with Tony Parker leading the team with 25 points and 7 assists. Tim Duncan brought in 13 rebounds.
Monta Ellis lead the Mavericks with 21 points, while Dirk Nowitzki was held to only 8.
The Spurs headed into the half leading 45-38, after a nice (read: lucky) long three-pointer at the buzzer by Vince Carter. That was pretty much the high point for the Mavericks, who quickly feel victim to San Antonio’s efficiency and lock down defense. The Spurs outscored Dallas 67-52 in the 2nd half and made it look easy.
The game played out like some sort of cinema montage depicting Spurs glory, with a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack presumably. You know, something gritty, hardworking, blue collar, yet so dependable and boringly consistent that it morphs into art.
With Ginobli and Tiago Splitter watching on the bench, their teammates took the court and totally dismantled a good in-state rival on national television. The PnR’s were flowing, Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills were getting open looks behind the arc, the Mavs were getting smothered on the defensive end. Even Popovich was having fun in his interview before the 4th quarter (he had a 20 point lead at that time) and hugged Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN. It was…awkward, but represented what his team was displaying on the court.
The Spurs have a nice, long rest before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. No word yet on whether we can expect Ginobi to suit up. The performance without him was beautiful, but let’s not get carried away; nothing can put an opposing team away quicker than having Manu Ginobli come off the bench and light it up.