National Basketball Association
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            === Ellis rallies Mavs, forces Game 7 in San Antonio ===
 Dallas, TX ( - The eighth-seeded Mavericks may not knock off
 the San Antonio Spurs in their first-round Western Conference series, but they
 are certainly making the team with the best record in the NBA sweat.
 Monta  Ellis led  a fourth-quarter surge and finished with 27 points Friday as
 Dallas  forced a  winner-take-all Game  7 in  San Antonio  with a  hard-fought
 113-111 victory.
 Ellis  scored 12 of his 29 points in crunch time, but nearly wiped it all away
 when  he threw an ill-advised pass out of bounds with 1.3 seconds remaining to
 give the Spurs one final look.
 Patty Mills' off-balanced shot at the buzzer was well short and came after the
 clock  struck zero,  meaning these  two postseason  mainstays will  meet again
 Sunday with a trip to the second round on the line.
 "You  play the whole season to have a Game 7 at home," Spurs guard Tony Parker
 said. "Hopefully we can play with better energy."
 Dirk  Nowitzki chimed  in with 22 points and Dallas' deep supporting cast came
 up with big plays down the stretch, notably former Spur DeJuan Blair.
 Parker netted 13  of his  22 points in  the fourth  quarter to lead the Spurs,
 who  led  81-76 entering  the fourth  and appeared in  control before the Mavs
 rattled off nine straight points midway through the frame.
 Ellis hit a go-ahead 3-pointer during the run and Blair, who was suspended for
 Game  5 after kicking  Tiago Splitter in the head the previous game, capped it
 with a three-point play for a 97-92 Mavericks lead with 4:25 to play.
 After  Manu Ginobili,  who shot  just  1-of-8 from  the floor,  sank two  free
 throws, Ellis answered with a pair of identical floaters in the lane to extend
 Dallas' lead.
 "My  teammates just  told me  to  be aggressive,"  Ellis said.  "My team  just
 believed in me, and I just had to go out there and respond."
 Ellis  was  fouled by Ginobili on  his first drive  to the basket and made the
 free  throw, then used  a pick on the left wing en route to a rainbow over Tim
 Duncan for a 102-94 advantage with under three minutes to play.
 Parker  kept the  Spurs in striking distance with baskets on three consecutive
 possessions,  the last a layup off a crisp spin move in traffic to pull within
 106-105 with 49.9 seconds on the clock.
 Vince Carter made it a three-point game with two free throws, and Blair picked
 off  a Parker pass  intended for Duncan under the basket, forcing the Spurs to
 foul the rest of the way.
 Dallas  made 5-of-8  free throws  and hung  on despite  Ellis' head-scratching
 turnover in the closing seconds.
 Both  teams shot  56 percent  from  the field  in  the first  quarter and  got
 whatever they wanted offensively, but the Mavs hustled for eight second-chance
 points to none for the Spurs en route to a 34-26 lead heading to the second.
 Dallas  was  ahead the rest  of the half, the  biggest cushion coming at 39-28
 after  Jae Crowder beat  the shot clock with a long 3-pointer two minutes into
 the second quarter.
 Devin  Harris' late three-point play sent the hosts into halftime with a 58-52
 advantage,  but  the third quarter  went back-and-forth after the Spurs opened
 the stanza with an 11-4 run that gave them their first lead since it was 10-9.
                                   Game Notes
 Five  of the six in the series have been decided by six points or less ... The
 Mavs  are  0-7 all-time  in series  when trailing 3-2  and had previously only
 forced  a  Game 7  once when  facing that  deficit ...  Blair finished with 10
 points  and 14 rebounds ... Splitter totaled 19 points and eight boards, while
 Duncan  had 16  and nine for the Spurs  ... Danny Green netted 17 points on 7-
 of-7 shooting in defeat.
 05/02 23:31:38 ET