Playoff matchup

May 05, 2001|By Milton Kent

Western Conference

No. 1 San Antonio vs. No. 5 Dallas

Playoff path: The Spurs knocked out Minnesota in four games, while the Mavericks lost the first two in Utah, then won three straight.

Season series: San Antonio won three of four.

Spurs outlook: San Antonio was the league's best three-point shooting team in the regular season (41 percent) and hit eight of 14 three-pointers in the series clincher over the Timberwolves. ... Tim Duncan averaged 23.8 points and 13 rebounds in four games against Dallas. ... David Robinson shot 54 percent from the floor during the series with Minnesota. ... Every player on the Spurs' roster has playoff experience.

Mavericks outlook: Dallas held Duncan to 11 points in its 79-77 Nov. 10 win at Reunion Arena, the only time San Antonio lost this season when holding an opponent under 80 points. ... The Mavericks are the sixth team to come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-five opening-round series. ... Dallas leads in free-throw shooting in the playoffs at 86 percent. ... Five Mavericks (Mark Bryant, Steve Nash, Vernon Maxwell, Juwan Howard and Howard Eisley) had previous playoff experience before the win over Utah.

Bottom line: This is the first of many Dallas forays into the postseason, but there's too much Duncan and Robinson for the ride to go farther this year. San Antonio in six.

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