Despite a litany of runs made by Dallas throughout the second half, San Antonio was able to fend off the season sweep by the Mavericks, while ending their five game losing streak at the same time. DeMar DeRozan connected on a game-winning jumpshot to end a back-and-forth fourth quarter between the class of the Southwest Division for the last two decades.
DeRozan (33 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists), Dejounte Murray (25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), and critical bench output by Lonnie Walker IV (15 points) spearheaded the Spurs’ effort in the win.
Dallas was led by Kristaps Porzingis (3 points and 15 rebounds) and Luka Doncic (29 points and 7 assists) in the loss, while converting only 13 of 42 from distance.
- The Mavericks should go back to their 80s era green uniforms and the gaudy cowboy hat logo more often.
- A handful of deflections by San Antonio’s perimeter defenders played a helpful role in the first half.
- Dejounte Murray started off defending Doncic to some success. On an early possession, Murray slapped the ball cleanly away from an unsuspecting Doncic to start a fast break.
- The “Goosebumps” series of books are not the ones I imagined DeRozan would read growing up. On the other hand, ‘the dictionary’ IS what I believe White would read in his formative years.
- Not sure where to find this specific information, but San Antonio’s bigs must lead the league in (unfair) offensive fouls and turnovers on their pick-and-rolls. An early beer ad proclaimed “it’s only worth it if you enjoy it,” and well, the plethora of calls going the other way - don’t enjoy them.
- Keldon’s Kitchen: Early in the third period, Johnson, off the catch, drove diagonally through (instead of directly towards the rim) the lane to net himself a swooping lay-in.
- Sequence of the Game: Early in the first quarter, White impressively erased a Josh Richardson layup attempt at the rim, and DeRozan converted a euro step layup through two Mavericks in transition.
- Beautiful Game Homage: In a play resembling the triangle formations of great soccer teams, Gay initiated an action from the right wing to Murray at the top of arc, who found a cutting Jakob Poeltl for a Jak Jam.
- Beautiful Game Homage II: Some late shot-clock magic late in the opening half by White on the baseline in finding a cutting DeRozan, who re-directed it to Poeltl for another Jak Jam.
- While walking around in my “Spurs Coffee Gang” apparel today, several strangers asked if I worked for two of the top US coffee vendors.
- Murray came out of the chute scoring confidently - notching nine of the team’s first 15 points with DeRozan accounting for the other six. Free throws by Drew Eubanks gave San Antonio a 22-15 advantage, while Porzingis wanted to outscore the Spurs by himself with 13 of his own. Doncic and the Mavericks mounted a late 9-2 run late to tie things exiting the quarter.
- Gay asserted himself at the offensive end to help the Spurs reclaim the lead at the start of the second period. Dogged defense by Trey Burke and Jalen Brunson helped Dallas tie it again at 38. Poor transition defense and offensive cold spells reared their ugly heads again for the Spurs, and the Mavericks surged into a nine point advantage. A slew of perimeter misses by Dallas allowed the Spurs to stay within striking distance at the break.
- Intent on capitalizing on the lack of interior rim protection, DeRozan and the other starters drove to the rim with reckless abandon to erase the deficit. Josh Richardson connected on several difficult jumpers and Dorian Finney-Smith electrified at the rim to shave the Spurs lead to two. The teams stayed within one possession of each other for the rest of the quarter. Walker IV rattled in a three and jarred the souls of all Metroplex residents shortly after with a rim-rattling throwdown over Nicolo Melli. Melli exacted his revenge by nailing two straight threes to make it 89-88 Mavericks heading into the final period.
- Walker IV paired an acrobatic layup with another three to start the scoring in the fourth. At one point, 7’3” Porzingis vainly attempted to post-up the 5’9” Patty Mills in the paint, while Finney-Smith patiently waited for his teammate to clear out of the paint... to attempt a dunk blocked by Poeltl at the rim. A Mills three gave the Spurs its biggest lead of the night at 99-91. As quickly as San Antonio’s storm surge occurred, the Mavericks trimmed it back to one minutes later. Poeltl fooled Porzingis with a ball fake and converted a critical and-one, and DeRozan deftly drew Porzingis’ fifth foul to net two more free throws. DeRozan’s three-point play over Finney-Smith in the post made it 113-104.
- Coach Rick Carlisle ordered the “Hack-a-Poeltl” strategy which resulted in him banking in one of his two attempts. Eubanks was substituted immediately to prevent further stoppages. A Doncic hook, Finney-Smith layup, and Richardson tip-in made it 114-113. DeRozan drove it through the two Dallas stars for a banker - earning an and-one on Porzingis’ sixth foul. Doncic’s free throws and floater tied it at 117. On the final possession, DeDrozan executed a perfect side-stepping fadeaway and left Dallas only 0.5 seconds to work with. A Doncic fadeaway from halfcourt fell feebly short of the rim.
For the Mavericks fan’s perspective, visit Mavs Moneyball.
San Antonio flies to Florida for a road SEGABABA against Terence Ross and the Orlando Magic tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM CT.