Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:
Unable to stop Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 36 points on 12-for-14 shooting, the Spurs intentionally fouled Mavericks’ center Erick Dampier on three straight possessions. Popovich has been a frequent employer of the tactic in previous playoff series, most notably against center Shaquille O’Neal, when he played for the Lakers and Suns.
Dampier made four-of-six free throws, finishing off by making both on the third intentional foul.
The Mavericks weren’t surprised by the ploy.