At 37-years-old, Vince Carter has been demoted to a role player, but still shows flashes of greatness once in a while.
After a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Carter hit a 3-pointer in the left corner over Manu Ginobili at the buzzer to give the Dallas Mavericks a 109-108 Game 3 win and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series with in-state rival San Antonio Spurs.
The Mavericks held a 77-74 lead after three quarters, then witnessed a fourth for the ages as the game saw 10 lead changes and 12 ties.
Ginobili made the go-ahead basket with 1.7 left as he drove inside the paint and hit a bank shot over Samuel Dalembert. The ball spun around the rim a few times, nearly popping out, before falling, giving the Spurs the late lead, 108-106.
This came after Monta Ellis tied it at 106 by driving on Tim Duncan and hitting a floater over the 17-year veteran.
Carter’s game winner was his first make from downtown and marked his first playoff game winner in his career. He also became the oldest player to hit a buzzer beater in the playoffs in the last 15 years.
Ellis led five players in double figures with 29 points, 12 in the final 6:35.
Dirk Nowitzki, who was averaging 13.5 points on 33 percent in the first two games, shot an efficient 7-of-13 for 18 points while adding seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Jose Calderon scored 10 of his 16 in the first quarter, going 2-of-3 from distance.
As scripted in the first two games, Dallas began slow in the first quarter, which led to a 34-27 deficit after one. Tony Parker scored 12 of his 19 points in the quarter.
Sticking with the script, the Mavericks finally found their groove in the second, leading to their third-straight halftime lead in the series. Dallas led 59-54 going to the break.
The Mavs finished the half on an 18-7 run after trailing 47-41.
Tim Duncan had a team-high 22 points. Tiago Splitter had a huge game with 13 points, 14 rebounds and three assists. Kawhi Leonard added 17 points, five rebounds and five steals after struggling in Game 2.
Dalembert had his best playoff game as a Maverick, and one of his best games of the year. He contributed 13 points, 10 boards and a game-high four blocks. It was his seventh playoff double-double, his first since 2008.
Dallas now has won two straight against the Spurs after losing the previous 10.
The Mavericks will look to go up 3-1 in Game 4 at home on April 28, which is set to tip at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.