The End Of An Era Is Happening; Denver Holds Off Elimination For One More Night

04.26.11 7 years ago 54 Comments
Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)

Monday night yielded a trio of must-win matches for all parties involved. The Spurs found themselves in unfamiliar territory against the fiery, eighth-seeded Grizzlies. Denver looked to salvage some respect after a tepid Game 3 showing against OKC. Finally, Portland, propelled by the feel-good story of Brandon Roy, had a shot to get the upper hand on Dallas … You want to know what it feels like to have your backs against the wall? Ask San Antonio. They are there after getting smashed by 18 in Memphis to suddenly fall behind 3-1. Is it all over? Not quite yet. But the Spurs just looked over the edge and can see the fall. San Antonio looked more composed to start the game than their previous efforts, but were still barely holding on in the first half. Antonio McDyess had an uncharacteristic technical and the Grizz took the Spurs best shots early and kept inching closer. The Alamo gang regrouped and picked up a two-point lead highlighted by Manu Ginobili’s (14 points) impressive coast-to-coast exhibition, leading to a dime to Tony Parker. The Frenchman had 19 at the half (23 for the game) with his team up 50-48 … Memphis entered the third with renewed resolve. The Grizzlies initiated the quarter with a 12-0 run, attacking right from the start. San Antonio didn’t resemble the well-rounded, fundamental team they maintained all year. They played one-and-a-half on five as Parker attacked the paint and Ginobili struggled from the perimeter. The Grizzlies’ lead ballooned to 78-65 after three … Memphis kept S.A. on the ropes throughout the fourth. Credit Memphis’ perimeter D during the stretch, and throughout the series thus far, for making it difficult on the opposition to get good looks. Lets make no bones about it: the Grizzlies simply wanted to win more while the Spurs heaved threes out of desperation. Gregg Popovich conceded defeat midway through the fourth by subbing in his bench. Seeing San Antonio get straight whipped, 104-86, left us flabbergasted as Memphis had five players in double figures. You have to wonder if San Antonio has any gas left to stave off elimination … It wasn’t supposed to go like this. Dallas should’ve never lost Game 4 and now with their “mental edge,” Portland was going to come in and steal Game 5. Or so everyone thought. Dallas put together a big second half and won rather easily, 93-82, in a game that wasn’t even that close. You could tell Dallas had the energy but still lacked the precision early to close on Portland’s two-possession lead during the first quarter. Dallas eventually got hot and went on a 12-4 run to tie the game at 27. From there, the teams started trading rain. Jason Terry (20 points) and Peja Stojakovic and even Andre Miller (18 points, seven assists) hit from behind the arch. The two squads went back and forth to close the half … Nate McMillan’s bunch started the third sleepily. Dirk Nowitzki (25 points) saw red, hit the line often and his team capitalized on multiple second-chance and fast-break points. Portland fell victim to a debilitating run and ended the quarter down, 75-63 … The Blazers inability to get to the line has played key roles in all their losses. Granted, their slashers don’t get enough touches to draw fouls in the paint. Still, their offense has stuck with jump shots and low-post play with mixed success. They lose intensity on both ends when they’re not scoring. Tyson Chandler‘s 14-point, 20-board night, including 13 offensive boards, was huge. The extra possessions helped maintained the composure many thought the Mavs lost after Game 4 … Keep reading to hear about Ty Lawson and the Nuggets standing up to the Thunder

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