Houston stay alive while Raptors take lead against Nets.
Despite a sprained ankle and no sleep after the birth of his first child, Tony Parker guided the San Antonio Spurs to victory in Game 5 against the Dallas Mavericks.
Parker had 23 points and five assists as the Spurs never trailed in their win, and it gives them a vital 3-2 series lead heading back to Dallas where they will hope to close-out at the first time of asking.
Spurs forward Tim Duncan insisted that he expected that kind of performance from his point guard as he usually reacts to stress and lack of sleep with a big performance, and that is exactly what the Frenchman provided for his team-mates.
Duncan (16 points and 12 rebounds) and Thiago Splitter (17 points and 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles to help secure the win, while Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Kawhi Leonard had 15.
Vince Carter top-scored for the visitors with 28 points, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat as he conceded that their rivals moved the ball well and made their shots.
Staying in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets kept their hopes alive with Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin pushing them to victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
It means Portland will now have a second close-out opportunity at home in Game 6 on Friday, after Howard (22 points and 14 rebounds) and Lin (21 points) postponed the party for now.
Perhaps a key part of the win was Houston’s ability to finally slow down LaMarcus Aldridge who had just eight points, while point guard Damian Lillard admitted that his team threw up some crazy shots and will need to be smarter next time out.
Over in the East, the Toronto Raptors almost let a 26-point lead slip against the Brooklyn Nets, but with Kyle Lowry scoring a career playoff-high of 36 points, they did just enough to take a 3-2 series lead against the Brooklyn Nets.
Deron Williams conceded that Lowry is tough to guard when he gets in his zone, and despite 30 points from Joe Johnson, the Nets will now host the Raptors at the Barclays Center on Friday looking to stay in the series.
Dallas Mavericks 103-109 San Antonio Spurs
Brooklyn Nets 113-115 Toronto Raptors
Portland Trail Blazers 98-108 Houston Rockets