The Dallas Mavericks withstood a furious rally from the San Antonio Spurs and walked away with a 117-110 victory. Luka Doncic put on an epic performance, scoring a career high 42 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists. DeMar DeRozan poured it in, scoring 36 in defeat.
Luka Doncic treated home fans to one of his best quarters in a Dallas uniform, with the second year playing pouring in 17 points, grabbing four rebounds and four assists. The Spurs appeared asleep early on and couldn’t buy a bucket from anywhere past DeMar DeRozan driving to the rim. After San Antonio went to their bench half way through the frame, the Spurs finally generated some offense. But the hot shooting Mavericks continued to pour it on throughout the frame and led 36-22 after one.
Dallas appeared ready to run away with the game multiple times in the second quarter and led by as many as 18 multiple times. San Antonio cut into the double digit lead repeatedly, only to see Dallas respond almost immediately. The Mavericks’ bench unit played particularly well against a zone defense from San Antonio. Despite Doncic and other Mavericks starters re-entering the game with five or so minutes in the period, the Spurs closed the lead down to 10 heading into half time. The Mavericks held a 59-49 lead through two quarters.
The two teams traded baskets to start the third quarter. The Spurs kept finding good two point looks and chipped the Mavericks’ lead all the way down to four points. Despite a variety of great plays by Dallas on offense, they were unable to extend their lead from single digits for several minutes. But starting at the 5:30 second mark, Dallas exploded with 10 straight points in the next 76 seconds mainly through a flurry of Doncic scores and assists.
This Luka Doncic DIME. Hitting Dorian on the full court pass off the rebound pic.twitter.com/lJXk7ACted— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) November 19, 2019
San Antonio worked the lead down to eight again but a crazy series of assists from Luka extended the Maverick lead to 14 and Dallas took a 93-79 lead to the final frame.
The Mavericks’ bench kept to lead in double digits to start the fourth with the Spurs seemingly unable to get a basket to all. The Spurs eventually whittled the lead down to single digits again but by that point the Mavericks’ starters re-entered the game. Turnovers and bad offense in the middle of the quarter allowed the Spurs to climb all the way back within two with under five minutes remaining. A truly awful blocking call on Doncic gave him five fouls with three minutes in the contest. Dallas extended the lead to six but the Spurs connected on a huge three. With just over a minute remaining, Dorian Finney-Smith hit a wild end of clock jumper to give Dallas a five point lead. A bad Doncic turnover resulted in a Rudy Gay three to pull the Spurs within two.
But the comeback was not to be for San Antonio. On the next possession Doncic got a switch and connected on a back-breaking step back three. Dallas caused a turnover on the ensuing in bounds play and the Mavericks walked away with a 117-110 victory.
It’s Dorian Finney-Smith’s world, we just live in it
Over the years I’ve been exceptionally critical of Dorian Finney-Smith. Allow me to say two things without hesitation. First, I was wrong. Second, this was without a doubt the best performance of his short career.
Move past that insane toss at the rim to give Dallas a five point lead with a minute plus to go (which was awesome). Where Finney-Smith excelled this evening were the same areas he’s been a positive contributor all season. He plays hard, he cuts to the rim, and is willing to take open three pointers. Things all came together for Finney-Smith tonight in a way they hadn’t prior and Dallas needed every statistiscal contribution, including his career high 22 points.
It might be Luka’s night, but the win would not have mattered without Finney-Smith.
Luka Doncic is outstanding
What more is there to say about Doncic at this point? He scored 42 points, a career high and had the refs blown the whistle a few more times, a few more free throws fell, or had some rim attempts dropped, he could’ve been the only 20-year-old with a 50 point triple double.
Instead, he’ll have to settle for being one of two 20-year-olds with 40 point triple doubles. The other is some guy named LeBron James.
He’s that good.
Cutting to the basket results in good things
Look at this play.
I can’t recall the last time Doncic cut to the hoop and one of his teammates actually found him. Though this wasn’t a play, it’d be great to see more actions where Luka gets the ball from someone else instead of always having to do the hard work.
Dallas has done much better with cutting towards the basket these past two games. Hopefully this is the start of a trend.
See y’all Wednesday as Dallas hosts the Warriors.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball” below, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.