NBA Playoffs: Mavericks 113, Spurs 111
Ellis scores 29 to help eighth-seed Dallas stay alive in series.
Published: May 3, 2014 09:56PM
Updated: May 2, 2014 11:45PM
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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, goes up for an uncontested shot as San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard watches in the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series on Friday, May 2, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Dallas • Monta Ellis is headed to his first Game 7, and DeJuan Blair gets a chance to play his old team in San Antonio one more time after all.

Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki will return to the site of one of the best moments of his stellar career.

Ellis scored 12 of his 29 points to lead a fourth-quarter comeback that also got an energetic boost from Blair in his return after getting suspended, and the Mavericks forced a deciding game in their first-round series with top-seeded San Antonio, beating the Spurs 113-111 on Friday night.

“Put all of our chips on the table and see what happens,” said Ellis, whose 3-pointer put eighth-seeded Dallas ahead for a good at 94-92 with 5 minutes to go.

Tony Parker matched Nowitzki with 22 points to lead the heavily favored Spurs, who are stuck in a toss-up series after they won all four games against the Mavericks during the regular season and had a 10-game winning streak against them after taking the opener.

The only other time these teams played a Game 7, Nowitzki had an improbable three-point play to force overtime in San Antonio in 2006. The Mavericks went on to win the second-round series and reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

“Well, it’s the ultimate thrill,” said Nowitzki, who is 4-0 in Game 7s in his career. “Nothing matters anymore. Just this one game.”

And Blair will be there. He missed Game 5 in South Texas after the league suspended him for kicking Tiago Splitter in the head when he was called for a foul when the pair got tangled up and fell to the court in Game 4.

He never said he was mad that the league suspended him, but he showed it, knocking Parker the court with a hard screen that led to a three-point play at the end of the first half for Devin Harris.

Then, he had four rebounds and two steals in the fourth quarter — and finished with 10 points and 14 boards for his second double-double of the series.

“His energy was great,” said his old coach, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich. “He was a man possessed on both ends of the floor. Thought he was really super.”

Blair had plenty of time to think about Game 6 after watching the previous game alone in his hotel room in San Antonio.

Mavericks 113, Spurs 111

S. Antonio 26 26 29 30 — 111

Dallas 34 24 18 37 — 113

SAN ANTONIO (111)

Leonard 4-9 3-4 12, Duncan 7-9 2-2 16, Splitter 4-7 11-12 19, Parker 10-23 1-2 22, Green 7-7 1-2 17, Diaw 3-5 2-2 9, Ginobili 1-8 4-4 6, Mills 4-6 0-0 10, Belinelli 0-1 0-0 0, Bonner 0-0 0-0 0, Ayres 0-0 0-0 0.

Totals 40-75 24-28 111.

DALLAS (113)

Marion 3-6 1-3 7, Nowitzki 11-20 0-0 22, Dalembert 3-4 0-0 6, Calderon 5-9 0-0 12, Ellis 11-22 4-6 29, Carter 4-6 3-4 13, Blair 3-10 4-7 10, Harris 4-8 3-4 11, Crowder 1-2 0-0 3.

Totals 45-87 15-24 113.

3-Point Goals—San Antonio 7-16 (Green 2-2, Mills 2-2, Diaw 1-2, Leonard 1-2, Parker 1-2, Splitter 0-1, Ginobili 0-5), Dallas 8-18 (Ellis 3-6, Calderon 2-3, Carter 2-4, Crowder 1-1, Marion 0-1, Nowitzki 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—San Antonio 45 (Duncan 9), Dallas 45 (Blair 14). Assists—San Antonio 21 (Parker 6), Dallas 18 (Calderon 6). Total Fouls—San Antonio 26, Dallas 20. A—20,799 (19,200).