DALLAS – Vince Carter knew right away the exact date of the last time he had a buzzer-beating try in a playoff game – 13 years ago.
It’s seared in the memory of the 16-year veteran because he missed that one. He was on target Saturday.
Carter hit a double-pump 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Dallas Mavericks a 109-108 victory in Game 3 and a first-round series lead over the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs.
With 1.7 seconds left, Carter took an inbound pass from Jose Calderon in the left corner. After a quick pump fake got Manu Ginobili in the air – moments after the Argentine guard had given the Spurs the lead – Carter released the ball just in time.
He strutted stone-faced toward Dirk Nowitzki, who was waving his arms wildly as he jumped on Carter. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined the celebration on the court before the automatic review confirmed the obvious: The shot was good.
And it’s one Carter said he practiced.
May 20th, Game 7, said Carter, referring to an 88-87 loss to Philadelphia in the 2001 Eastern Conference finals with Toronto. Carter had graduated from North Carolina that day before flying on a private plane to Philadelphia.
I don’t mind taking the game-winning shot, said Carter, who otherwise had a rough day before finishing with 11 points. I don’t mind missing them, and dealing with it. So I think having that mentality helps me.
Monta Ellis led the eighth-seeded Mavericks with 29 points. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 22 points.
Game 4 is Monday night in Dallas.
Ginobili dribbled out most of the last 24 seconds before going around Duncan and scoring over Samuel Dalembert for a 108-106 lead.
You never think it’s over, especially in here, Ginobili said. We’ve got experience on that. As long as you don’t see zero zero’ over there, it’s not over.
HEAT 98, BOBCATS 85: In Charlotte, N.C., LeBron James had 30 points and 10 rebounds as Miami took a 3-0 lead in the series.
Dwyane Wade added 17 points for the Heat, who can close out the best-of-seven Monday night.
Michael Heisley, the billionaire businessman who bought the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved the NBA team to Memphis, Tenn., died Saturday. He was 77.
The Grizzlies said a family member confirmed Heisley’s death. The Commercial Appeal reported that Heisley died in Illinois of complications from a massive stroke he suffered nearly 15 months ago.
Heisley sold the team to Robert Pera before the start of the 2012-13 season.