It's a date: Blazers get second-round matchup with San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs really wanted their date with the Portland Trail Blazers, it would seem.
The Spurs jumped out to a 68-46 halftime lead, then went on to bury the Dallas Mavericks, 119-96, in Game 7 of the teams' playoff series on Sunday.
San Antonio will play host to Portland in a best-of-seven series beginning Tuesday, with Game 2 in San Antonio on Thursday. Both will tip at 6:30 p.m.
The series will then arrive in Portland for Game 3 on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Game 4 on Monday, May 12.
Tony Parker scored 32 points and the Spurs led by as many as 31 Sunday, closing out a tense first-round series in seven games.
Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, Danny Green added 16 points and Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard had 15 points apiece for San Antonio.
Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Dallas.
Last season ended for the Spurs with a Game 7 loss in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Facing a much earlier end, San Antonio rode a raucous home crowd and overwhelmed Dallas in the deciding game of a physical series.
There were two technical fouls and two flagrant fouls in Game 7 and two more flagrants reversed upon review.
Parker was assessed a technical with 31.6 second left in the first quarter after making a layup on and jawing with former teammate DeJuan Blair as the two ran down the court. They have been talking smack to each other all series and Parker was clearly frustrated with the hard fouls committed by Blair on his drives earlier in the series.
Blair was later assessed a flagrant foul for elbowing Ginobili in the face on a drive. After the foul, Blair stared down San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who was screaming at officials over the severity of the foul.
The flagrant foul energized the Spurs, who went on a 14-2 run to take a 51-27 lead with 8 minutes remaining in the first half.
Duncan dove into the Mavericks bench during that run to save a loose ball and start a fast break.
Later, Vince Carter tackled Ginobili in the lane three minutes into the second quarter. The play was initially ruled a flagrant foul but was reversed when reviews showed Carter was trying to hold Ginobili up as both tumbled out of bounds.
San Antonio never led by less than 14 points in the second half.