You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. No matter how old Tim Duncan gets, no matter how many steps he’s supposedly lost, no matter who else is supposed to be the go-to guy on his team, TD is going to take over games in the playoffs. In last night’s Game 2 against Dallas, kind of a must-win for San Antonio after they’d dropped the series opener, Duncan scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter — including eight in a row during a key stretch when the Mavs still had a chance — to steal Dallas’ homecourt advantage and take their heart at the same time … Early on, Duncan (25 pts, 17 rebs) and Dirk Nowitzki (24 pts, 9-24 FG) were both on the bench in foul trouble while the rest of the Spurs looked like they were going to take the rest of the Mavs behind the woodshed. They led by as much as 14 in the first half, highlighted by Richard Jefferson (19 pts) playing as well as he has all season, and one Tony Parker shot that Dick Stockton actually called “an off-balance, wind-up-on-your-butt layup.” San Antonio stretched the lead to 20 in the third quarter, and Dallas cut it to five in the fourth before Duncan flexed his pimp hand and slapped ‘em down … When TD was on the bench in the first half, Stockton said, “All this time is gravy time for Popovich.” From his couch somewhere on the Willy Wonka estate, Oliver Miller heard “gravy time” and perked up in his seat … Six minutes into the first quarter of Magic/Bobcats, when Charlotte was still stuck on three points, Kevin McHale had to break out “discombobulated” to best describe their offense. Midway through the second he’d upgraded it to “frenetic,” but then right before halftime — as the ‘Cats were struggling to crack 30 on the scoreboard — McHale called them “Keystone Kops” … Right off the bat the Magic were getting whatever shots they wanted and it looked like it was going to be a rout, but then it was like Charlotte’s offensive ineptitude rubbed off and Orlando started to suck just as bad. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard was in foul trouble again: The first one was weak, as Theo Ratliff had Dwight wrapped up in a bear hug from behind and Dwight merely gave him an elbow to the cheek. After picking up his second Dwight sat for a while, then maybe 20 seconds after he checked back in, he was called for another weak foul … Dwight (15 pts, 9 rebs) stayed on the court long enough in the third quarter to deliver a soul-crushing dunk on Tyson Chandler that sparked another Orlando run, which Vince Carter (19 pts) punctuated with some slashes to the rim for layups. Up by 20 going into the fourth, the Magic let the lead get down to single digits before eventually pulling away … Hilarious moment (although Stephen Jackson wasn’t laughing) when Capt. Jack got hit in the head on a drive, and when there was no call, spent like two minutes screaming at the refs while his headband covered one eye. Jackson (27 pts) acted like the headband was physical evidence of the foul and he didn’t want to contaminate the scene … Gerald Wallace played like a guy trying to prove he should have won Defensive Player of the Year over Dwight. Three of Crash’s four blocks last night would have been #1 on NBA.com’s Top 10 Plays if they’d been executed by LeBron: He sent a Dwight hook shot back to sender and came down with a nosebleed, then spiked a Vince layup off the glass with a violent thud, then chased down Rashard Lewis before eating one of his layups for lunch … As much as Reggie Miller just yells and tries too hard, McHale is subtle and unassumingly clever on the mic. When Marcin Gortat blew a dunk, McHale deadpanned, “The hoop is 10 feet tall” … Mid-game Tweet from Evan Turner: “Joey Graham just had the worst 3 possessions of bball I’ve ever seen.” Remember that when Turner plays against either of the Graham twins next year and Joey/Stephen gives the rookie a Ric Flair chop across the chest … But once again, the funniest Tweet came from our man Marcus Williams during the Spurs game: “That spot in Manu‘s dome. Smh. His head look like a public toilet seat.” … OKC’s Scott Brooks is your NBA Coach of the Year, beating Scott Skiles, Nate McMillan and Jerry Sloan in the voting. And the Houston Chronicle has reported that Aaron Brooks will win Most Improved Player later today. It’ll be interesting to see where Kevin Durant finishes in that vote. He might be the first player to finish 2nd in M.I.P. and MVP voting in the same year … We’re out like Charlotte’s offense …
Smack / Apr 22, 2010 / 3:40 am
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