(The Sports Xchange) -Two weeks into the NBA playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs finally produced a performance befitting a team that accumulated the league’s best record during the regular season.
Guard Tony Parker scored 32 points and the Spurs defeated the Dallas Mavericks 119-96 in Game Seven of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
The Spurs advance to face the fifth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, who upset the Houston Rockets in a six-game series.
San Antonio was 62-20, including a franchise regular season record 19 straight games.
But the Spurs struggled with Dallas, the outcome in five of the first six games having been decided in the final minute. The only blowout was a 113-92 Dallas victory in Game Two.
Guard Manu Ginobili supplemented Parker with 20 points. Guard Danny Green added 16, one more than forwards Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 22 points. Guard Devin Harris scored 17.
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Nets 104, Raptors 103
The Brooklyn Nets had the advantage of experience over the Toronto Raptors and they needed every bit of it.
The Nets, who led by 11 early in the fourth quarter, needed a last-second stop on Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry to hang on for a victory in Game Seven of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
The Nets meet the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the next round.
Nets forward Joe Johnson scored 26 points, 13 in the fourth quarter.
Lowry, who scored 28 points with seven rebounds and three assists, had the final attempt of the game. But he was impeded by veteran Nets center Kevin Garnett and Lowry’s desperation shot from six feet was blocked by forward Paul Pierce.
“You have to find ways to help your team win,” said Pierce, who only had 10 points with five fouls. “I just happened to be in the right spot. I saw (Lowry) split defenders and I got my hand on the ball.”
Lowry had cut the Nets’ lead to one with a driving bank shot with 16.7 seconds to play.
Nets guard Shaun Livingston, who finished with 10 points, made two free throws with 13.2 seconds to play to put the lead at three.
The margin was back to one after forward Terrence Ross, who had 11 points, made a driving layup. The Raptors took possession on a turnover with 6.2 seconds left, but Lowry had his attempt blocked at the buzzer.
Reserve guard Marcus Thornton added 17 points for the Nets, Deron Williams had 13 and Garnett added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Raptors forward Amir Johnson scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out with 7:53 left in the game.
DeMar DeRozan added 18 points.