DALLAS -- Manu Ginobili scored 23 points Monday and the San Antonio Spurs tied the best-of-seven series with Dallas at 2-2 with an emotional 93-89 victory at American Airlines Center.
Game 5 is Wednesday night at 6 in San Antonio, and Game 6 is Friday night in Dallas. If a seventh game is necessary, it will be played Sunday in San Antonio.
Ginobili iced the game with a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining as the Spurs regained homecourt advantage. Prior to Ginobili's two free throws, Monta Ellis drove the lane but misfired on a shot which would have tied the game with 3.9 seconds remaining.
Other than Ginobili, the Spurs got 17 points from Boris Diaw, 14 points and 10 rebounds from Tim Duncan, 10 points and 12 rebounds from Tiago Splitter.
Ellis led the Mavs with 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points, Jose Calderon scored 13, and DeJuan Blair had 12 points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes.
But Blair was ejected with 3:08 left and the Mavs ehad 83-82 for kicking Splitter in the head. The referees referred to Blair's actions as a "hostile act.''
That "hostile act'' now have the Mavs wondering if the NBA will suspend Blair from Game 5.
The Spurs were cruising along with a commanding 58-38 lead early in the third period and appeared as though they were well on their way to an easy blowout victory. But the Mavs had other ideas.
Trying to out-do their biggest playoff deficit in team history -- a 19-point deficit at San 'Antonio on May 27, 2003 in the Western Conference Finals -- the Mavs woke up and used a 43-22 run to take an 81-80 lead late in the fourth period.
But the Mavs made all the key baskets and defensive plays down the stretch and now have re-gained homecourt advantage in this series. The biggest play -- other than Blair's ejection -- was a 3-pointer by Diaw which gave the Spurs a 90-87 lead with 32.9 seconds left.
-- Dwain Price
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