Spurs 91, Mavericks 86


DALLAS (AP) – Michael Finley hit back against the Dallas Mavericks, and the San Antonio Spurs are still alive.

After absorbing the low blow that got Mavericks guard Jason Terry suspended, Finley ignored the taunts from the Dallas fans who used to adore him and scored 16 points to help the Spurs to a 91-86 victory Friday night, forcing a Game 7 in a series that certainly deserves to end that way.

Finley scored 10 points in the third quarter to help San Antonio hang close, then made the go-ahead basket on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2:45 left – and Dallas’ 7-foot star Dirk Nowitzki running at him.

Finley then defended Nowitzki on a missed 3-pointer that could’ve tied it with 6.9 seconds left. The off-balanced shot landed well short. Tony Parker got the rebound, was fouled and hit both shots, sealing the Spurs’ second straight salvation of their title defense.

The Spurs could become only the ninth team to overcome a 3-1 deficit – and the second this season. Phoenix did it in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Six of the other winners were at home for Game 7, just like San Antonio will.

The only solace for the Mavs is that they’ll get back Terry, their second-leading scorer.

Terry was suspended for punching Finley between his legs during a loose-ball scramble in the closing seconds of Game 5. He joined the team at an afternoon shootaround, but had to watch the game at home.

They could’ve used his jumper and perhaps his ball-handling because Devin Harris struggled without him, especially down the stretch. Nowitzki did all he could with 26 points, 21 rebounds and five assists – team-bests in all three categories – but it wasn’t enough.

Manu Ginobili had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and Tim Duncan had 24 points and eight rebounds.