What Happened Last Night: San Antonio Squeezes By Dallas, Nadal Beats Federer

  • Dylan Murphy

There was actually quite the wide variety of sports on television last night – the World Baseball Classic, where the United States fell to the Dominican Republic, some TNT basketball and tennis! Well, Federer and Nadal, so the only tennis you’d consider watching that’s not a Grand Slam.

San Antonio nearly blows a late lead against Dallas.

Someone will have to explain this one – with San Antonio leading 92-91 with 28 seconds remaining in the game, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle chose not to foul. It was a risky decision, should the Spurs wind the shot clock all the way down and take a shot with five seconds left in the game. By the time Dallas would have corralled the rebound, there would have been 3-4 seconds left, which isn’t a whole lot of time to fire up a quality shot. But Manu Ginobili bailed him out, pulling up from the foul line with 10 seconds left, and Dallas grabbed the rebound for the game’s final possession with 8.7 seconds remaining.

So what happened? Dirk time, you’d expect: on the team’s previous possession, he pulled one of his herky-jerky head fake sort of fadeaway jumpers from the elbow, reducing the Mavs’ deficit to one point. But no: instead we got a Vince Carter-Brandan Wright pick and roll, with Dirk stationed at the three-point line on Carter’s left. After the switch, Vince Carter settled for a fadeaway three with Tiago Spiltter’s seven-foot hand in his face, and it rimmed out. Why the ball wasn’t in Dirk’s hands, we have no idea. But Dallas paid for it with a loss.

Nadal beats Federer at Indian Wells.

Tennis! Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, the first time the two have met in the quarters of a tournament since 2004. You know, because they usually play in the finals. Nadal controlled the match in this one, easily winning 6-4, 6-2, and advancing to the semifinals to face Tomas Berdych. Both players are recovering from injury – Nadal out for several months with a left knee injury, and Federer dealing with an ailing back – and so the match didn’t live up to its usual luster. Even Nadal said he thought Federer quit, which in most cases would be an insult, but we don’t think the BNP Paribas Open is high on Federer’s to-do list.