The Spurs overcame multiple runs late by a pesky Maverick team Tuesday night. The rivalry game was yet another defensive battle between these two divisional rivals. The days of the low-scoring slugfest were resuscitated a few times tonight, as LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills lit the Mavs up in the 2nd and 4th quarters. J.J. Barea and rookie sensation Dennis Smith Jr. made it interesting in the third frame, however the Silver and Black tightened up defensively in the final quarter and Aldridge embarrassed the Maverick front court on the other end of the floor to seal the victory.
- LaMarcus Aldridge abused a brittle Maverick front court all night in his hometown. Despite #12’s brilliant game on the block, Coach Rick Carlisle continued to trot out small ball lineups for most of the ball game. I thought tonight was one of Aldridge’s most complete games of the season. The Mavs threw a number of looks at him, but he stayed calm and consistently found the open man when he was doubled and made any defender the opposition put on him look like they belonged in the G-league (including a confrontational and overly animated Salah Merji).
- Brandon Paul just plays like a Spur, man. The summer league phenom has played lights out defense, made every hustle play you could ever imagine, and consistently hit timely shots all season long. Guys like BP3 may not win you championships, but they certainly help you get there.
- In a strange move by the coaching staff, we didn’t see Manu Ginobili log minutes till the second half. Coming off of a 40 point victory on Saturday which was then followed by two days off, I fully expected to see the most celebrated sixth man in franchise history get his usual time in the rotation against a divisional rival. Regardless of the shuffling lineup though, it is amazing to see the type of energy #20 brings at 40 years old. The guy is an absolute warrior, and I honestly think I’m enjoying his contributions now more than ever.
- Danny Green had a tough night offensively despite a number of open looks. He shot confidently and moved well without the ball, but just couldn’t get a whole lot to drop tonight. He had a nice drive late in the fourth to hold off a Mavs rally when the Spurs needed a bucket.
- Patty Mills had probably his best game of the season against the 2-13 Mavericks. The beloved fan-favorite had it all going Tuesday night, hitting contested threes, off the dribble step backs, and even a couple of floaters in the lane.
The good guys take on a team full of rising stars in the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night in the Gopher state at 7 p.m..