The Dallas Mavericks season is over after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 130-120 Sunday night in Dallas. It was fan appreciation night in the American Airlines Center and Dallas did about everything it could to send the fans home happy, except for one unfortunate injury.
Dallas finishes with 52 wins, the most in a season since 2011. Unfortunately the Golden State Warriors did not lose against the Pelicans, so the Mavericks will be the fourth seed in the Western Conference and play the Utah Jazz.
The Mavericks regulars all did things and played shortened games. No starter played in the fourth quarter, but despite that four of the five starters scored in double figures. Luka Doncic scored a game-high 26 points. The end of the bench players got a chance to shine at the end and despite a furious Spurs rally late, they held the fort down to secure the Mavericks win.
Here are some thoughts:
The end the of bench players did it again
If you forgot, the replacement Mavericks back in December saved the Mavericks season in a way, holding the fort down while Luka Doncic was injured and the Mavericks crept to two games below .500. So it was very fun to see those end of the bench guys come through again to secure the win.
Theo Pinson, the soul of the bench that you can see yelling and screaming every night, scored 16 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, with four three pointers. Boban Marjanovic had a couple buckets, which is really giving the fans what they want. It was fun to see.
Dwight Powell set a record
After going 7-of-7 from the floor in the Mavericks previous game against the Trail Blazers, Dwight Powell started the game against the Spurs 3-of-3 — that broke the Mavericks franchise record for most consecutive shots made.
It was a great distinction for Powell, who has been putting in the work all season. He finished tonight with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Hopefully Luka is OK
Unfortunately the headlines from this rather sleepy Sunday evening game will be Doncic’s injury in the third quarter. He got into the paint and appeared to bang knees with a Spurs defender. He then hobbled off the court and into the locker room during the next dead ball, in very apparent pain.
Later it was reported it actually wasn’t the knee bump: Doncic had a left calf strain and if you watch the footage, you can see Doncic suffering the injury when he lands, not when he bumps knees.
It’s an incredibly unfortunate injury, one that could have implications for the playoffs. Calf strains, even mild ones, are not an easy injury to quickly bounce back from. It’s even more infuriating because Doncic injured it late in the third quarter right before the coach Jason Kidd would pull the starters for the fourth quarter.
There’s a chance Doncic can be ready to go for Game 1 against the Jazz, but the Mavericks have to be extremely careful. What a bummer note to end the season on.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.