To no one's surprise, Pop wasn't going to risk anything in San Antonio's final game of the regular season, so here was the official list of Spurs out for this one:
INJURY REPORT for Spurs-Mavs— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 13, 2016
Which, consequently, meant that this was the starting line-up:
Per stat monitors, your Spurs starters: Miller, Green, Anderson, Bonner and .... Boban— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) April 13, 2016
In a meaningless game for the Spurs, on a night in which one team in Oakland was prepared to make NBA history, and one legendary player in Los Angeles was lacing up his sneakers for the final time, this was more than appropriate.
Nonetheless, an actual NBA basketball game involving two playoff teams was played in Dallas. Danny Green got off to a solid start with seven of the Spurs' first 13 points, while Matt Bonner was doing a great job with Dirk Nowitzki on the other end, forcing him to miss four of his first five shots.
The Mavericks couldn't get much to fall in the first, only connecting on five of their first 17 shots, but Dallas' five offensive rebounds in the quarter to San Antonio's zero gave them more looks and kept the game closer than it should have been. Then a late quarter surge (13-2 run) gave the Mavs a 27-20 lead at the end of one.
The Mavs struggled to put the ball in the bucket to begin the second quarter and were held scoreless for the first four-and-a-half minutes. But the Spurs only put up five points in that span still found themselves down.
Charlie Villanueva then hit three straight threes leading to a 14 point lead for Dallas with about five minutes to go in the first half. San Antonio just didn't shoot well in the first two quarters, and had no one to go to to get a bucket when needed. Raymond Felton with 16 first half points led the Mavs to a 52-34 lead at the break. Jonathon Simmons was the only Spur in double figures with 10. I could sit here and tell you about how ugly the half was from a basketball standpoint, but the point would be moot.
The Spurs quickly made it a game again to begin the third quarter and forced a Mavericks time out after cutting their deficit to just six. Boban Marjanovic began to dominate the paint and quickly racked up 16 points. The Mavericks were chucking up every three they possibly could with a low success rate and the Spurs were able to eventually tie the game late in the third. The good guys went into the fourth down two, outscoring the Mavericks 31-15 in the third.
The game was all tied up at 75 with just over seven minutes left. I would say that it's embarrassing for the Mavericks to have been in this position, but the Spurs found themselves in a similar scenario the previous night against a Thunder team missing three starters, so there isn't much room for Spurs fans to talk. (Yes, I'm aware the Spurs had more guys out and were on the road, but still).
A deep, DEEP, Danny Green triple gave the Spurs the lead with five minuets left and forced a Mavs time-out, and the momentum had (somehow) shifted to the silver and black. Boban and Simmons each earned themselves career highs (22 and 19, respectively) and they put SA in a position to win late in the fourth quarter. As Sean Elliot noted on the broadcast, two rookies stepped up to ensure the future may be bright in San Antonio.
The Spurs were able to hold on thanks to two timely buckets from Kyle Anderson in the final minute, and Andre Miller's four free throws in the final 18 seconds.
In the end, I'm not sure anyone expected the Spurs to win this one, but I'm also not sure anyone cared. But it was an impressive win, regardless. So, the Spurs finish the regular season with a franchise best 67 wins (15 losses). Playoffs, here we come!