San Antonio Spurs Clear Maverick Hurdle, Give Gregg Popovich a Win To Remember

April 30th, 2010 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »
Like a caged elephant charging at the metal bars with bulldozer and monster-truck force, and with the dogmatism of a fighter pilot yearning for one last glorious ride in the sky, the Spurs broke free.

They pounded the rock until it cracked with that exulting 101st blow. They used the resulting pieces to dent then topple a proverbial wall manifested from the failure and dejection of 2006 and 2009.

With a finishing kick to remember after a third quarter to forget, the Spurs sent the Dallas Mavericks and two summers' worth of angst and vexation packing. With a 97-87 victory, the Spurs became just the fifth seventh seed to win a first-round series.

"The window's still open," Rick Carlisle said in his post-game remarks, "but this is a tough blow."

Four years ago, Manu Ginobili fouled Dirk Nowitzki, and the Mavs began a stranglehold as convincing as a championship-less franchise can have over one with four of them.

Maybe Gregg Popovich did want to play Dallas, after all. The coach always in search of his next challenge backed his team into one of its ...

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