DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks used a 20-7 run in the fourth quarter to defeat the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 113-111 Friday night. The win evened the series at three-to-three and sets up a winner-take-all game seven in San Antonio on Sunday.
"We were into it," said Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. "Our guys knew what was at stake today. We're in a situation where we know what's at stake Sunday.”
Mavs guard Vince Carter didn't match his 28-point game five performance, but chipped in 13 points and six rebounds Friday.
"We've been through a lot this year, a lot game-seven-type games already," Carter said. ”We looked at game six as a game seven for us, and we have to repeat the performance."
Dallas guard Monta Ellis scored a playoff-career-high-tying 29 points, including 22 in the second half and 12 points in the fourth quarter.
It was a 3-pointer by Ellis that put Dallas ahead for a good at 94-92 with 4:58 left in the game. His focus is on game seven.
"Put all of our chips on the table and see what happens," Ellis said.
His coach talked about Ellis' explosive second half after the game.
"He was great in the second half, especially," Carlisle said. "First half, it was hard for him to get a rhythm. He got a little frustrated. At halftime, I talked to him a little bit and just told him he needs to stay in attack mode, just keep his attacking energy up."
"It's called speed," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Dallas is 4-1 all-time in game sevens, and Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki is a perfect 4-0 in game sevens. The only time Dallas has lost a game seven was against the Lakers in the 1988 Western Conference Finals.
"Well, it's the ultimate thrill," Nowitzki said. "Nothing matters anymore. Just this one game."
Forward Shawn Marion echoed the thought.
"We got it done," Marion said. "Game seven Sunday is all that matters. It's been a series of runs, back and forth. We were able to hold on and get a good win. Now it's time for game seven.”
DeJuan Blair, who was suspended for game five, produced his second-consecutive double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
"I'm just playing," Blair said. "I'm just glad that we got the win. Of course I was fired up. We're at home and its game six against a tough team. It was fun."
Blair pounded his former team, the Spurs.
"He was tough," said Mavericks guard Devin Harris. "He was just a monster in there - offensive rebounds, setting hard screens - just the toughness that we didn't have that last game."
Dallas started the fourth quarter down and recaptured the lead with 4:58 left in the game at 94-92. They would never trail the rest of the way. Still, the Spurs never gave up and trailed by one, 106-105 with 0:49 left in the game.
"I thought we bailed them out with some poor shots and we turned it over at the same time," Popovich said. "Bail-out shots are basically turnovers also, and they capitalized on them."
Mavericks guard Jose Calderon suffered a broken nose in the game during a play that involved Tony Parker. He said he's not sure what effect his busted nose will have on game seven.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili didn't score his first basket until the 5:50 mark of the third quarter and finished with only six points as the San Antonio bench finished with 25 points. The Dallas bench finished with 37.
"It just happens,” Ginobili said. “We’re 3-3 with home court advantage. I don't think we're in an awful position."
The Mavericks improved to 16-17 (.485) all-time in elimination games.