The Dallas Mavericks resisted a furious rally from the San Antonio Spurs and walked away with a 117-110 victory. Luka Doncic made an epic performance, made a career high 42 points, made 11 rebounds and dished out 12 assists. DeMar DeRozan poured it in and scored 36 in defeat.
Luka Doncic treated home fans to one of their best neighborhoods in a Dallas uniform, with the second year playing with 17 points and taking four rebounds and four assists. The Spurs seemed to fall asleep early and couldn't buy a bucket anywhere past DeMar DeRozan who was driving to the edge. After San Antonio went to his bench halfway through the frame, the Spurs finally generated some offense. But the hot shooter Mavericks continued to pour it throughout the frame, leading 36-22 for one.
Dallas seemed ready to escape the game several times during the second quarter and was led by as many as 1
The two teams traded baskets to start the third quarter. The Spurs continued to find good two-point looks and chipped Maverick's lead all the way down to four points. Despite a variety of good 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 by 10 straight points in the next 76 seconds mainly through a flood of Doncic points and assists.
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.
Maverick's bench continued to lead in double-digit numbers to start the fourth with Spurs who apparently couldn't get a basket for everyone. The Spurs eventually showed the lead down to single digits again, but at that point, Maverick's start came again in the game. Turnovers and poor offense in the middle of the quarter allowed Spurs to climb all the way back in two with under five minutes left. A really awful blocking call on Doncic gave him five violations with three minutes left in the competition. Dallas extended the lead to six, but Spurs joined a huge three. With just over a minute left, Dorian Finney-Smith hit a wild end on the clock hopper to give Dallas a five-point lead. A poor Doncic turnover resulted in a Rudy Gay three pulling Spurs within two.
But the comeback wasn't for San Antonio. At the next possession, Doncic got a switch and joined a backbreaking step three. Dallas caused a turnover following in the boundary game and the Mavericks walked away with a 117-110 victory.
It is Dorian Finney-Smith's world, we only live in it
Over the years I have been exceptionally critical of Dorian Finney-Smith. Let me say two things without hesitation. First I was wrong . Secondly, this was arguably the best result of his short career.
Move past the crazy throw at the edge to give Dallas a five-point lead with one minute plus to go (which was great). Where Finney-Smith distinguished this evening was the same areas that he has been a positive contributor all season. He plays hard, he cuts to the edge and is willing to take open three pointers. Things are all coming together for Finney-Smith tonight in a way they didn't have before and Dallas needed every statistical contribution, including his career high 22 points.
It might be Luke's night, but the win wouldn't have mattered without Finney-Smith.
Luka Doncic is outstanding
What else can be said about Doncic right now? He got 42 points, a career high and had the judges blown the whistle a few more times, a few more free throws or had some rim attempts dropped, he could have been the only 20-year-old with 50 points triple double.
Instead, he has to settle for being one of two 20-year-olds with 40 points triple. The other is a guy named LeBron James.
He's so good.
Cutting to the basket results in good things
Look at this paragraph.
I can't remember the last time Doncic cut to the bow and one of his teammates actually found him. While this was not a game, it was good to see more action where Luka gets the ball from someone else instead of always having to do the hard work.
Dallas has done much better in cutting against the basket the last two games. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend.
See you on Wednesday when Dallas hosts the Warriors.
Here is 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 done so, subscribe by searching "Mavs Moneyball podcast" to your favorite podcast app.