"Ain't nothin' but a ballgame fellas, ain't nothin' but a thing."
That's probably what Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson were telling their teammates Tuesday night on the flight home to Oaktown after letting the Dallas Mavericks slip the hangman's knot in game 5, 118-112.
With the series now a little tighter at 3-2 in favor of the Warriors, the C word (choke) hangs over Tuesday's bobble like Adonal Foyle's contract against the Warriors salary cap. We're still seeing all this as a win-win though. Game 5 was an incredible game for playoff-starved Warriorphiles. Both teams played spirited ball. The Mavericks faced down elimination from the very brink of defeat. The Warriors had a chance to close out their opening round best-of-seven playoff series with the Mavs, but couldn't quite pull it off. The game featured great defense, clutch shots, a little intrigue (again), last-second heroics, and playoff drama -- everything a hoops fan expects from the postseason.
Dallas's big D stepped up when they needed him in game 5, but it will be a whole new ballgame tomorrow night when the Warriors look to close out the series in the O-rena. Photo from espn.com.
The Mavs jumped out to a big first quarter lead and pushed it to 21 points midway through the second. But the Warriors responded with one of their patented period-ending flourishes, cutting the deficit to just seven points at the half.
The two squads jousted, parried, and sparred throughout the third quarter, but it seemed like the Mavericks might have found their sea legs. The hand-to-hand struggle continued into the fourth until the Warriors caught fire and seemed to suck all the air out of the American Airlines Center, taking their first lead of the game at the 9:32 mark. An improbable three-pointer by the Beard pushed the lead out to nine points with just 3:21 to play and the crowd was so quiet you could have heard a number one seed drop. Unfortunately, those were the last points of the night for the Dubs.