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Spurs bested by the Mavericks once again

The young Spurs are still searching for consistency as they lose for the third straight time in their 2021/2022 series against the Mavericks

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs fall to 0-3 against their Texas rivals the Dallas Mavericks in a game that was never really competitive. The Spurs drop to 4-8 on the season as once again they fail to win two straight. The Spurs went against Porzingis for the first time this season as he missed the first two encounters.

Game Recap

The Spurs and Mavs started this game by going to their Power Forwards as Keldon and Kristaps got the ball early on. KJ was able to make 2 early threes for the Spurs, even after a poor start to the season from the outside he was still shooting with confidence. In fact, the Spurs first three buckets of the game were from behind the arc, as their hot shooting followed them from the last game out against the Kings. Unfortunately for San Antonio, Luka Doncic started to get to work — attacking mismatches and hitting multiple three pointers off those switches. The Spurs offense had 16 points in the first 6 minutes of the ball game, but those points dried up quickly as they only managed 6 more points in the final 6 minutes of the quarter. Mavs were up after one; 31-22.

The second quarter was much more physical from both teams as the officials stayed out of the ball game, even when there were clearly foul calls. The Spurs were robbed more times than the visiting team. The Spurs though were able to show great focus as they got the deficit back to 5 points even without the favorable calls from the officials. Porzingis was a nightmare for the Spurs in this quarter as he had 17 points, including three easy buckets in a row on the inside, his size was clearly hurting the Spurs. Then with under a minute to go in the half both Luka and Kristaps hit long range three balls to push Dallas’ lead to double digits at the interval; 68-57.

The Mavericks started the 3rd quarter on fire as they burned the Spurs on the inside as the home team had absolutely no answer to the Luka-KP Pick-and-Roll. Pop to counter pulled all 5 of his starters to hope for some extra energy from his bench unit. This didn’t seem to bother the Mavericks as they kept extending their lead, eventually pushing it to over 20 after the Spurs starters returned but were reckless with the ball and handed the Mavericks a bunch of turnovers. Dallas would go on to hit a few more threes before the end of the quarter to take a handy 25-point lead into the 4th.

The 4th was more of the same. Spurs lose; 123-109

Game Notes

  • The one Spur player that hasn’t been mentioned much so far this season as he still has a ways to go before returning to the court is new addition, Center, Zach Collins. Seeing him on the bench reminded me that as bad as the Spurs interior defense is without Jakob, it will get better when Collins is eventually able to play. He has great intensity on that end of the floor and in the minutes where Poeltl sits or even if Jakob has to miss time due to injury or health protocols, Zach Collins will be able to do an admiral job at protecting the rim.
  • Luka Doncic. In the first two meetings the Spurs (especially DJ) did a nice job of making it hard on the Mavs best player to get into a rhythm, but tonight they allowed Luka to feast. Doncic ended up with a 32-12-15 line and was all over the floor for the Mavs. The Luka-KP pick-and-roll caused the home team problems all night. The Spurs were insistent on switching it every time. This either allowed Luka to dance on one of the Spurs bigs or KP to dominate a Spurs guard in the paint. Adjustment were never truly made and therefore never allowed the Spurs a chance to get back into the contest.
  • 3 steals. A season low in cookies for San Antonio and this is no suprise considering their lack of intensity and hustle in Friday’s game. Pop even mentioned in his post game presser that the Spurs lacked aggressiveness in the first half. A young team like the Spurs can’t have any excuses for not coming out ready to play, its too early in the season to be using fatigue as a reason for any lack of will to win a ball game.

Play of the Game

Devin blocked Luka, that was pretty cool.

Spurs Valuable Player (SVP)

These games are the most difficult to decide on the SVP votes. But hey, we’ll try anyways !

3rd place (1 point): Thaddeus Young | 24 minutes, 9 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds

Did his thing, was not the reason the Spurs couldn’t keep this one close.

2nd place (2 points): Doug McDermott | 24 minutes, 14 points, 3 assists, 4 threes

Hit 4 threes and on a night like tonight, that’s good enough to secure Doug a 2nd place SVP.

1st place (3 points): Devin Vassell | 30 minutes, 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks

Was the best player for the Spurs on the floor by far, his motor never stops. Two-Way Stud.

Overall Leaderboard

1st - Dejounte Murray - 20pts

2nd - Devin Vassell - 11pts

3rd - Keldon Johnson - 10pts

4th - Jakob Poeltl & Thaddeus Young - 8pts each

5th - Derrick White & Doug McDermott - 5pts each

6th - Drew Eubanks - 2pts

7th - Lonnie Walker IV, Bryn Forbes & Jock Landale- 1pt each


Next Game: @ Lakers on Sunday

The Spurs head on a three game roadie that starts with two in LA, first up is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs lost to the Lakers earlier on this season in a thrilling overtime game, the Spurs will look bounce back in this one.