That's the amount of time that decided Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. Ultimately, we may look back on it as the decisive period in this series, or potentially even in the run to the NBA championship.
With 1:05 left in the game, Dirk Nowitzki drove from the top of the key and beat defender Tony Parker off the dribble, meeting Tim Duncan in the paint. Nowitzki stepped on Duncan's foot as he planted to go into the air, twisting his right ankle, but still was able to create enough contact to draw Duncan's sixth foul. Following a Dallas timeout, the game played out thusly:
After Nowitzki makes both free throws, Dallas takes a 100-99 lead with San Antonio gaining possession. Presumably, Gregg Popovich had the opportunity to draw up a play in the huddle prior to Nowitzki's foul shots, and the Spurs go to a 1-4 high set with Manu Ginobili isolated at the top of the key against Josh Howard. Howard is considered Dallas' best defender, but he fails to turn Ginobili enough to keep him out of the key, and Ginobili floats one of his patented left-hand runners off the glass. Score:101-100, San Antonio
Dallas comes back with Devin Harris dribbling into a Nowitzki high screen right. As they did regularly down the stretch, the Spurs switched, leaving Bruce Bowen on Harris and Brent Barry on Nowitzki. Nowitzki then went to the left elbow and was the second man in a staggered screen for Jason Terry, forcing Parker to switch onto Nowitzki. Giving up a foot, the Frenchman had little chance when Nowitzki got the ball, necessitating a triple team with Ginobili and Bowen both flying over (and Robert Horry cheating Nowitzki's direction as well). Nowitzki uses his size to turn and find Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse leans into Horry to create contact (a no-call was appropriate) and banks the ball off the glass, around the rim and in. Score: 102-101, Dallas
San Antonio takes a timeout with 26.6 seconds left on the clock. Barry then inbounds to Ginobili in the same set as before. With Howard overplaying him left, Ginobili goes to his off right hand and again is able to create the proper angle for a running banker, impressive given how off-balance he was and the fact that Howard forced him to slightly double-pump. Score: 103-102, San Antonio