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Mavericks vs Spurs Recap: 3 observations from a 138-117 Dallas loss to San Antonio

The season from hell has come to a merciful end

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks lost to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday afternoon by a score of 138-117. Jaden Hardy was the high-point man for Dallas with 25. Sandro Mamukelashvili had 23 points for the Spurs in a balanced effort that saw eight players score in double figures.

The Mavericks, starting a lineup that would probably lose to most G-League teams, quickly found themselves facing a double-digit deficit, much to the horror and despair of the Mavericks organization. Everyone was just going through the motions and displaying the kind of body language you would expect from a tanking team desperate to get their season over with. There was a little of everything in the first quarter: Davis Bertans half-court airballs at the end of the shot clock, Markieff Morris missing 100 shots, Frank Ntilikina dribble drives. Dallas found themselves down 42-14 after one, the biggest first quarter deficit in franchise history.

Because this game was stupid, Dallas scored 45 points in the second quarter. Bertans treated MFFLs to one last superheater to end the season, making three consecutive threes and throwing down an insane driving dunk that saw him switch hands in mid-air. Can’t make this stuff up. Hardy got to the rim at will and scored a whopping 21 points in the quarter. Somehow, Dallas trimmed 16 points off the Spurs’ lead and went into halftime with a score of 71-59.

Dallas picked up where they left off to start the third quarter, and sparkling play from Theo Pinson helped bring the Mavericks within single digits. But the Spurs just overwhelmed Dallas with talent for the rest of the period, stretching their lead back to as many as 20. Heading into the final quarter of the season, our boys in blue trailed 108-91.

More basketball was technically played in the fourth quarter. But none of it mattered and soon it was over. The Mavericks season is done. It ended, fittingly, with a loss. This was the kind of final game the organization deserved. Here are three takeaways.

Theo Pinson had a triple double

One of the priorities of last summer’s offseason, Theo Pinson started the game and had 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. It was the first triple double of his career. It will likely be his last. Good for Pinson! This performance will likely be the answer to a Mavericks trivia question somewhere down the road.

Tank watch

The Bulls beat the Pistons 103-81 earlier this afternoon and the Thunder handily beat the Grizzlies, 115-100. Dallas secured top-10 odds, but they needed some help from Utah to tie for the 9th. But, alas, the Jazz fell to the Lakers, locking Dallas into the 10 spot in the tank standings. They have roughly an 80% chance of keeping their draft pick. The rest of the NBA world may not like it, but Dallas did what it needed to do in the last two games to hopefully secure a top-10 pick in a loaded draft. MFFLs everywhere will be watching the Draft Lottery with bated breath on May 16.

We are finally free of this pain

Few could have predicted that game one of the season, when Dallas blew multiple big leads to the Phoenix Suns, would be such an appropriate omen for what was to come. This year’s Mavericks were designed in a lab to make us as miserable as possible. They lost in the most painful ways time and time again. They inspired toxic, asinine discourse in the fan community. They were mostly a chore to watch. And now, we don’t have to do that anymore. We can watch playoff basketball free from the prison of this team. No one thought we’d be in this position. The organizational failures that led to this point will be studied for years to come. They have one chance this offseason to right the ship and save the Luka Doncic era in Dallas. We can only hope that Mark Cuban and company will finally be up to that task.

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