Spurs-Mavs Game 4: Winner Takes All

Simple: Whoever wins Game 4 of Spurs-Mavs Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center wins the series. Right?

With a win, the Mavs go up 3-1 and would have three shots - including a Game 6 at AAC - to seal the deal.

With a win, the Spurs would suddenly grab back home-court advantage in a Best-of-3 series.

I know last night's rout was a great game. But for the Mavs, it merely sets up a great opportunity.

As predicted, the Mavs found their blueprint for success. Push the pace and let their early offense get ad-libbed open looks before San Antonio's half-court defense can clamp down. Kudos to Rick Carlisle for inserting J.J. Barea into the starting lineup. Boy, did that ever work.

As for the Spurs, what an abortion. During its championship decade they've always found a way to win games like Saturday. But they've never had to do it less than 48 hours after the worst performance in team post-season history.

Will Game 3 be motivation? Or simply the beginning of the end?

If you've followed the Mavs at all this season you know they thrive on adversity and tend to stub their toe upon prosperity. Bottom line: History suggests Game 4 will be a psychological letdown for Dallas.

I say the winner of Game 4 will be, well, the winner.

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