The San Antonio Spurs went out on the road and won once again thanks to some amazing play from their stars and timely shooting down the stretch. While the Spurs appeared in control in the first half, the Dallas Mavericks wouldn’t go away, making the Good Guys fight tooth and nail for the 112-105 win: their season-high sixth in a row.
LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), DeMar DeRozan (33 points, 4 reb, 6 assists, 4 steals) and Derrick White (23 points, 3 reb, 7 assists, 3 steals) all stuffed the stat sheet. Mavs rookie Jalen Brunson had a career-high 34 points, while Luka Doncic, who is nursing a sore knee, struggled all night with 12 points on 5-18 shooting and 9 turnovers.
- The “Players Only” Tuesday on TNT was a yawner during the pregame, which was ironic since the main topic was the boredom players and fans of the best teams begin to experience as they wait for the playoffs to arrive. On the bright side, at least Chris Weber was in the studio instead of announcing the game.
- Early season DeRozan was there in the first quarter, scoring 16 points, 14 of which came during their 19-5 run to end the quarter up double digits. It didn’t matter if he was driving to the rim, shooting bankers, or floaters, everything was going in.
- Two first quarter fouls for Jakob Poeltl meant more Drew Eubanks early. He immediately made his presence known by blocking a Doncic lay-up attempt and contesting a Dwight Powell three. He also ran Dirk Nowitzki off the three-point line early in the second: something the starters failed to do twice early in the game, which resulted in a Pop timeout.
- Speaking of which, someone failed to inform the announcers that Poeltl is pronounced “purtle,” not “portal.”
- “Players Only” took on a whole new meaning in the second quarter when Caron Butler interviewed Kristaps Porzingis as the action was ongoing. It’s pretty unusual for players to do in-game interviews, even inactive ones.
- The Mavs got hot in the third quarter, hitting 4 straight threes to get within three, but the foul line did them no favors in getting any closer, where they only went 5-11 in the third. One miss was when Tim Hardaway Jr. flopped on some very minor, incidental dead-ball contact from DeRozan. Even after video review showed it was a flop, Ed Malloy called a technical on DeRozan anyway (his 9th of the season) for “excessive contact.” Maybe it was for the light push he gave Hardaway as he “fell” into him, but then again he was flopping and therefore committing “excessive” and “unnecessary” contact himself. Regardless, Dirk missed the technical free throw. BALL DON’T LIE.
- The Spurs ultimately survived a Mavs onslaught in the second half largely by making all 18 of their free throw attempts, as well as some very timely shots, while Doncic alone went just 1-9 at the line. In another case of ball don’t lie, he missed both free throws on a possession gained with 30 sec left and the Mavs down 5. Aldridge was called for offensive three-seconds even though video replay showed he wasn’t in the paint anywhere near that long. (Thanks again, Ed Malloy.) Say what you will about the Spurs’ “inability” to pull away, but the February Spurs don’t survive this onslaught of threes and free throws on the road. Appreciate the win.
For the Mavs fans’ perspective, visit Mavs Money Ball.
The Spurs are headed back home to exact revenge against the Knicks on Friday. Tip-off will be at 7:30 PM on KENS 5.