Another early exit for Mavericks

April 30, 2010

The Spurs moved on, and the Mavericks are done early again.

Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and San Antonio survived blowing a 22-point lead to beat Dallas 97-87 in Game 6 on Thursday night, handing Dirk Nowitzki and the second-seeded Mavericks another first-round exit.

The Spurs got payback after the Mavs eliminated them a year ago and will play either the Suns or Blazers in the Western Conference semifinals.

"For us there was no tomorrow," Ginobili said after the Spurs finished off the Mavs in front of a raucous home crowd.

Nowitzki nearly carried the Mavs to an unbelievable comeback, getting 25 of his 33 points in the second half. But the Mavericks still stumbled to their third first-round exit in the last four years.

George Hill had 21 points for the Spurs, who are coming off their worst regular season in the Tim Duncan era. San Antonio is the fifth No. 7 seed to win a first-round series and the first since the opening round became a best-of-7 in 2003.

As for the Mavs, it was another playoff disappointment.

Injury updates: The Cavaliers said LeBron James has a strained right elbow and bone bruise, but he is not expected to miss any of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Celtics. The series begins Saturday. … Nuggets center Nene hyperextended his left knee but didn't tear his ACL, as feared, when he went down in the first half of Denver's victory over the Jazz on Wednesday. Nene didn't make the trip to Salt Lake City for Friday's Game 6.AP

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