Raymond Felton beat the buzzer not once, but twice in the first half of Dallas’ season finale against San Antonio.
The second quarter buzzer beater gave the Mavericks (42-40) an 18-point halftime lead.
It did not last long.
The Spurs (67-15) stormed back, erasing Dallas’ double digit lead minutes into the third quarter before outscoring the Mavericks 62-39 in the second half en route to a 96-91 victory.
San Antonio utilized its “B-team” and played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. Even without its stars, the Spurs relied on ball movement, excellent defense and rebounding to get the job done. Reserve center Boban Majanovic pounded the Mavericks inside and finished the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
“We’re the masking tape Mavs,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “And our guys have done it on grit and guts. We’re banged up, but we have a few days to try and heal up a little bit more. I just love the way this team has fought for the past two weeks.”
What it means:
Dallas is back in the playoffs for the 15th time in 16 years, but I suppose we already knew that. What we did not know was who Dallas would be playing. With the loss, the Mavericks took themselves out of the running for the No. 5 seed. However, Memphis lost its game to Golden State, which means the Dallas will take the six seed and face the Oklahoma City Thunder in Round 1 of the playoffs.
The last time the Mavericks saw the Thunder in the playoffs was 2012 when Oklahoma City swept Dallas out of the playoffs. The Mavericks were 0-4 against the Thunder this season.
Limping to the finish:
J.J. Barea missed his second straight game with a right groin strain. Devin Harris also did not play due to a left thumb sprain. To make matters worse, David Lee left the game in the first quarter with a right heel injury.
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