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San Antonio at Dallas, Final Score: Mavericks hold off Spurs’ furious comeback, 117 - 110

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The construction on I-35 highway from San Antonio to Dallas may never be finished, but the NBA’s I-35 rivalry remains as competitive as ever. 

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Seeking to snap a five-game not-winning streak, the Spurs’ wild comeback came up short as they fell to the Mavericks, losing their sixth straight 117-110. Luka Doncic had a triple double (42 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) and Dorian Finney-Smith paced the Mavericks with 22 points.

The good guys were down huge early on but battled back behind the gritty theatrics of DeMar DeRozan, who led the Spurs with 36 points while LaMarcus Aldridge had 16.

Observations

  • The Mavericks’ duo of Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis look good individually; their chemistry when both are on the court together seems to be a work in progress but coming along. A few more key pieces around them and this team will be scary.
  • Led by Doncic, the Mavericks heaved a lot of threes (seven made in the first quarter alone) and made them. The Spurs’ perimeter defense left a lot to be desired throughout the game.
  • ‪The more difficult the shot or the more contortion of the body it requires, the more likely Marco Belinelli will make it. That’s how you solve a shooting slump!
  • DeRozan was very aggressive tonight and constantly attacked the basket. It was about the only thing keeping the Spurs afloat. ‬
  • For the second game in a row, Jakob Poeltl started the second half and helped fuel a run for Spurs. It could be a sign that Pop starting to see the limitations of his starting line-up. The question is will he actually start making adjustments to the squad that starts the game to avoid the huge deficits that require such runs.
  • After more misses and defensive miscues from Belinelli, DeMarre Carroll finally got some fourth quarter burn, which included hitting a huge three while bringing some energy the the Spurs’ final comeback attempt.
  • Gregg Popovich expressed how different it felt not seeing Mavericks mainstay Dirk Nowitzki on the court. Personally, I would like to see Nowitzki join the Mavs’ coaching staff so he and Tim Duncan can continue their great rivalry for another 50 years. Maybe I-35 will be finished by then!

For the Mavericks fans’ perspective, head on over to Mavs Moneyball.

Next, the Spurs play the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, November 20th. Tip-off will be at 6:00PM on Fox Sports Southwest.