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San Antonio vs. Dallas, Final Score: Spurs fall short of a fourth-quarter comeback, 103-109

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The LaMarcus-less Spurs succumb to a late surge from the Mavericks’ dynamic offense.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs fell short of a miraculous fourth-quarter comeback in their first game back from the Rodeo Road Trip. Despite a furious rally in the final frame to take their first lead since opening the game 2-0, San Antonio couldn’t hold on, falling 103-109 to the Mavericks.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 27 points on 9-of-15 from the field, followed by 14 points from Marco Belinelli, and 12 points from Lonnie Walker IV. Kristaps Porzingis scored a game-high 28 points for Dallas while Luka Doncic registered his 13th triple-double of the season.

Observations

  • Kristaps Porzingis came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The uber-talented sharpshooting big man scored 16 points in the opening quarter alone and recorded a trifecta of blocks to go along with a pair of steals in the first half. He got into early foul trouble in the second period but finished the night with 28 points while avoiding fouling out for the third time this season. San Antonio simply had no answer for his combination of size and skills, and he reminded everyone why Kevin Durant dubbed him a “unicorn”.
  • Luka Doncic put on another offensive fireworks show at the expense of the Silver and Black, nearly recording a triple-double in the first 24 minutes of action. The 2019 Rookie of the Year got his triple-double in the last few seconds of the contest, and he ended the evening with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and a jaw-dropping 14 assists. He made just about everyone who tried guarding him look like a fool and broke Jason Kidd’s franchise record for triple-doubles a mere two days before his 21st birthday.
  • The good guys turned up the defensive intensity and held the Mavericks scoreless for the first four minutes and fifteen seconds of the fourth quarter. The Spurs outscored their I-35 rival 26-21 in the final frame, and Lonnie Walker IV came up with one of the most impressive backboard blocks of the year. Though San Antonio’s active feet and hands disrupted the Dallas attack for a brief stretch, the hole they dug in the first half proved too large to overcome.
  • Lonnie Walker IV had one wild rollercoaster of a night on both sides of the ball. The second-year guard tallied 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks, but committed 4 fouls and turned the ball over twice. At times he looked confident in his shot and defensive ability, and at moments appeared turned around and hesitant to let it fly. It was a decent showing from the 21-year-old in just his fourth start of the season, but it’s doubtful he remains in the opening lineup when LaMarcus Aldridge returns.
  • DeMar DeRozan only needed 3 points to pass Juwan Howard for 109th place on the all-time scoring list, and his 15 first-half points were more than enough to get the job done. The four-time All-Star finished with 27 points, but the Spurs couldn’t pick up a dub despite his solid individual performance. The Silver and Black are now 4-12 when their leading point-getter scores at least 27 points.
  • Patty Mills continued his ascent up the all-time bench scoring leaderboard, tying three-time All-Star Dan Majerle for 34th place in bench points. The nine-year Spur only managed in 8 points in 28 minutes on 27.3% shooting and failed to provide much of an impact on the court.
  • The Spurs were outshot 28.6%-56.5% in a lopsided first quarter that ended with the Mavericks ahead 20-36. San Antonio committed 5 sloppy turnovers, and a furious head coach Gregg Popovich called a quick timeout one minute and 24 seconds into the game. The second half was a minor improvement, though they entered the locker room down 49-59 after giving up a wide-open three-point buzzer-beater to Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • The Silver and Black didn’t execute particularly well on either end of the floor, but the referees certainly didn’t help their cause. San Antonio was whistled for several dinky fouls that sent Luka Doncic to the line and gave Dallas possession of the ball. Officiating wasn’t the ultimate decider of this contest, though the one-sided calling certainly hurt the quality of the product.
  • Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson were called up from the G-League for this outing, but neither rookie saw any minutes. Despite some buzz about the 19th overall pick potentially making his NBA debut, that moment would never come for the Croatian big man. Spurs fans did, however, receive 42 combined minutes of Marco Belinelli and Rudy Gay. Marco scored an efficient 14 points on 8 shots while Rudy had 4 points and 2 turnovers on 9 attempts.

For the Mavericks fans’ perspective, visit Mavs Money Ball.

The Silver and Black are back in action Saturday to take on Orlando in the second contest of their three-game homestand. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM CT.