"We've got to win two more, and they're not an easy team to beat," Cuban said. "It's not like you can expect them to roll over. It's the exact opposite. But the interesting thing is it felt like 2006 in that war that we fought down there."
This series is drawing some unique parallels to that 2006 conference semifinals matchup, one in which the Mavs won Game 7 on the road en route to making their first trip to the NBA Finals. Game 1 of that series saw the Mavs maintain a lead through to the second half only to see the Spurs surge ahead to secure the victory. Like Game 2 of this series, Game 2 in 2006 saw Dallas get out and run off San Antonio turnovers en route to a blowout victory. While there was no buzzer-beater in 2006's Game 3, the Mavericks were able to secure a one-point win.
In addition to that history, the Spurs do have experience being on the short side of the No. 1-versus-No. 8 upset when they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2011 playoffs. San Antonio will need a win in Game 4 to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself.
"They got the best of us tonight," Duncan said. "We have to get the one on Monday and turn it back into a series."
Now, the Spurs have put themselves in a spot where they are against the ropes and have to give their best effort of the season to get back to level footing. While they still have a chance to advance in the playoffs, they might have to push themselves more than they expected.