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Spurs avoid early exit with lopsided Game 7 win
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The fifth and final Game 7 of a wild first round in the NBA playoffs was anticlimactic, as the San Antonio Spurs jumped on the Dallas Mavericks early and rolled to a blowout 119-96 victory.
San Antonio was put to the test by its in-state rival the past two weeks, but Sunday's elimination bout was completely one-sided in favor of the Western Conference's top seed.
Tony Parker scored 24 of his 32 points in a first half that saw the Spurs shoot a blistering 68.4 percent from the field en route to building a sizeable cushion.
Manu Ginobili finished with 20 points, five assists and six steals while Danny Green added 16 points for San Antonio, which will begin its second-round series at home against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
The Mavs were trying to become just the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed, but they did not have much going offensively outside of Dirk Nowitzki's 22 points and Devin Harris' 17-point showing off the bench.
Monta Ellis, who averaged 24 points over the previous five games, netted just 12 of 3-of-11 shooting in the ouster.
Nowitzki began the scoring with an 18-foot jumper, but the Spurs scored 18 of the next 23 points and never looked back.
Parker accounted for 14 points in the first frame and Green's late 3-pointer sent the Spurs into the second with a healthy 35-23 lead.
A Ginobili jumper capped a quarter-opening 11-2 spurt that extended the margin to 21 points, and it was a nearly insurmountable 68-46 spread at the break despite Dallas scoring nine of the final 11 points in the half.
Harris poured in 10 points in the first six-plus minutes of the second half to inch the Mavs as close as 14 at 77-63, but the Spurs answered with a 14-2 run that essentially put the game away.
Ginobili ended the third quarter with 3-pointer for a 94-68 differential, and the Spurs were able to rest their veteran stars over the final 12 minutes with Portland looming in the near future.
Nowitzki was 4-0 in Game 7s ... Dallas is 0-8 all-time in playoff series after trailing 3-2 ... San Antonio improved to 4-5 in Game 7s ... Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard each chipped in 15 points apiece for the Spurs, who shot 56.8 percent from the floor and outscored the Mavs at the foul line, 25-15.
05/04 18:48:05 ET