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For the sixth time since 2001, the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks will square off in the playoffs, starting Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center. Watch the game live on TSN2 starting at 1pm et/10am pt. For the 17th consecutive season, the Spurs will be in the postseason. For the seventh time since 1997, the Spurs finished with the best record in the Western Conference. The Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili returned intact and key contributors did exactly what Spurs role players do - they played sensationally. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw and, especially newcomer Marco Belinelli, played brilliantly for stretches this season. Popovich is a master of resting his players as the season progresses and San Antonio heads to the postseason in good health. "We had an unbelievable regular season, we put ourselves in a great situation to be No. 1 overall," said Ginobili. "Were going for it, like every year." If there was ever a season the Spurs couldve folded, this wouldve been the one. Their longevity is stunning, but this season couldve very easily been a championship defense until Ray Allen stuck a dagger in the Spurs hearts. Miamis Allen made a crazy 3-pointer to tie Game 6 of the NBA Finals, a game the Heat went on to win. Miami took Game 7 to win back-to-back titles, but the inevitability of a San Antonio win in Game 6 was so clear, tape was being put up around the floor in Miami to prepare for San Antonios celebration. "What does impress me about the group is that theyve gotten themselves in this position after a devastating loss in the Finals last year," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said earlier in the week. "I thought they were pretty amazing after Game 6 to play as hard as they did in Game 7, when I think a lot of teams would have just given in. Beyond that, they came back, put it aside and have done what theyve done. I think thats pretty impressive. I dont think a lot of people have picked up on that but I have and Im really impressed with them." The Mavericks are back in the playoffs after a one-year absence, meaning Dallas has been in the postseason 13 of the last 14 years. They earned the eighth seed after a gritty overtime loss on Wednesday to the Grizzlies in Memphis. "Yeah, well be OK," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said immediately after the loss in Memphis. "I feel good about our team. I really do. And (Wednesday night) is a great indication of the fight we have in us. Were going to take that fight to San Antonio." The Spurs have won nine straight against their Texas rivals, including a four- game sweep this season, but that doesnt mean Dallas doesnt know what it takes to beat San Antonio. "What youve got to do against San Antonio is youve got to be a little smarter than we were in the last couple of outings," said Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki. "We feel like one little, two little mistakes and boom, its a three. A brutal missed boxout, pass out and three. Against that team youve got to be smart, youve got to execute perfectly and weve got to shoot the ball well." Nowitzki made yet another All-Star team with averages of 21.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg. He shot 90 percent from the foul line, almost 50 percent from the field and just about 40 percent from long range. Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon joined the Mavs in the offseason and formed a very strong backcourt. They combined to average 30.4 ppg and 10.4 apg. After the All-Texas match-up, the Miami Heat begin their title defense in earnest on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to American Airlines Arena. Watch the game live on TSN2 starting at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt. Miami has won the last two NBA titles and lost in the Finals three years ago to the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat have made the playoffs 10 times in the last 11 years and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami has won four straight Southeast titles and is trying to become the first three-time champion since the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-00 to 2001-02. "I dont need extra motivation. Im motivated enough," said LeBron James. "This is the best part of the season, its the best time of the year. Im happy to be here once again." The Heat had a real chance at the No. 1 seed, but head coach Erik Spoelstra elected to sit James and Chris Bosh the last two games. Dwyane Wade missed significant time toward the end, but he played late to get some timing back. "Weve got to carry the load," said James, who said all Heat players participated in practice for the first time since training camp. "Its great. I guess guys are ready for the playoffs." The decision to concede the No. 1 seed could hurt later in the postseason, if the Heat advance. Last season, Miami won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers and Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs in South Beach. The Heat come into the postseason in a bit of a rut. They lost the last three games of the regular season, although, they did rest some key pieces. However, Miami did drop six of its last eight and James and Bosh were in the lineup for most of those setbacks. Charlotte is in the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history and was swept in four games by the Orlando Magic back in 2009-10. The Bobcats surprised the NBA world with just the second record of .500 or better in team lore at 43-39, one season after going 21-61 and compiling only 28 wins in the previous two years. What was the difference this season? That would be the offseason addition of Al Jefferson. Jefferson, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April, averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds for the Bobcats, who were 20-9 after the All-Star break and ended with 14 wins in the last 19 games of the regular season. Jefferson was the only player in the Eastern Conference and one of only five players in the NBA averaging at least 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds on the season. New head coach Steve Clifford infused the team with a defensive mindset. The Bobcats finished fourth in opponents scoring and sixth in opponents field- goal percentage. Charlotte did have some trouble scoring this season. The Bobcats finished 23rd in points, while Miami was 12th. The Heat ranked fifth in opponents scoring. The Bobcats won their last three regular-season games and eight of their last nine. The Heat swept all four games against the Bobcats in the regular season and are undefeated in the past 16 games between the teams. Charlotte has lost nine straight and 12 of its last 13 trips to South Beach. Bennie Logan Jersey . Vonn had another scary moment at Saturdays World Cup downhill in Val dIsere, ending up clutching her knee in pain after losing her balance and missing a gate. But she gave a reassuring answer shortly afterward, saying no new damage had been done to the surgically repaired knee, and that her plans for the Sochi Olympics were still intact. Will Compton Titans Jersey .com) - The New York Rangers hope to punch their ticket to the second round when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a Game 6 battle at Wells Fargo Center. http://www.authenticfootballshoptitans. ... ns-jersey/. -- Crystal Webster avoided elimination at the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Olympic pre-trial curling tournament with an 8-5 win over Amber Holland on Thursday. Blaine Gabbert Jersey . Bayern winger Franck Ribery marked his league return after recovering from a cracked rib by scoring two goals and setting up two more as the league leaders inflicted the heaviest home defeat on Bremen in the Bundesliga. Harold Landry Titans Jersey . RAPTORS STRUGGLING: The bottom line is the true test in sports isnt just how you handle failure, but how you handle success.Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators got goals from Mika Zibanejad, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Erik Karlsson and Erik Condra in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Craig Anderson made 25 saves for the Senators, who snapped a four-game losing streak against Montreal. (It) was a hostile environment, said Senators coach Dave Cameron. A start is always huge. To get a good jump, a couple of goals was huge. Max Pacioretty extended his goal streak to six games for the Canadiens, who have lost three of four. Dustin Tokarski stopped 31-of-34 shots in his first start since Dec. 30. Pacioretty became the first Habs player with a six-game goal streak since Denis Savard accomplished the feat between Feb. 7 and March 1, 1991. We didnt show up in the first period. That made the difference, Pacioretty said. Zibanejad gave the Senators a 1-00 lead at 1:09 of the first, putting home a rebound off Mike Hoffmans one-timer from the high slot.dddddddddddd. The Canadiens tied things up at the 14:35 mark when a couple of lucky bounces saw a long pass by Brendan Gallagher reach Pacioretty, who fended off Jared Cowen before beating Anderson. Pageau jammed home a loose puck in front at 16:26 to make it 2-1 Ottawa. It was Pageaus first of the season. The Senators took a 3-1 lead on Karlssons shot from the high slot at 2:16 of the middle stanza. Anderson made 14 saves in the second and Condra scored an empty-net goal with 35.8 seconds to play. Game Notes Each team went 0-for-4 on the power play ... Milan Michalek had two assists for Ottawa ... The loss ended the Canadiens six-game road winning streak ... Montreals David Desharnais played his 300th NHL game. Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jersey Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jersey Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap New York Giants Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys ' ' '


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