They won't earn many style points, but the Silver & Black's win Tuesday night in Dallas gives them six in a row.
The Mavericks had some chances down the stretch, but too many misses from Luka Doncic doomed the hosts. The rookie, who was questionable to play before the game with a leg injury, struggled with the ball in his hands. The likely rookie of the year scored 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, including 1-of-7 from deep and just 1-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also committed 9 turnovers.
The Mavericks' other rookie, Jalen Brunson, was spectacular, scoring a game-high 34 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
The Spurs were led by the trio of DeMar DeRozan (33 points), LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points) and Derrick White (23 points). Davis Bertans joined them in the double-digit scoring club with 11 points.
San Antonio, the NBA's leader in free-throw percentage, drained all 18 of its attempts from the charity stripe. Dallas went 15-of-26 (58 percent).
The Spurs will return to San Antonio for their next game, which takes place Friday against the New York Knicks at 7:30 p.m.
Coaches love to tell their big men: "run the floor and you'll be rewarded." Coach Pop's guys have obviously head that line before, because LaMarcus Aldridge ended up with an easy bucket here.
Marco Belinelli missed his first five shots, but shooters shoot, and this was an important bucket in a tightening game.
Belinelli looked open on this play, but Davis Bertans drilled the clutch three as the Mavs inched closer. Patty Mills also deserves a ton of credit for this bone-rattling pick.
It got close late, but this shot and some free throws by DeMar DeRozan clinched the victory for San Antonio.
After three, the Spurs lead 84-74.
Give the Mavericks credit. On a night when their best player isn't 100 percent and they trailed big early, Rick Carlisle's team didn't quit. With 5 minutes left in the third, they were down by just 8 points. Point guard Jalen Brunson stepped up for Dallas, leading the way with 24 points.
For the Spurs, DeMar DeRozan keeps getting inside, which is key when the three pointers aren't dropping for his teammates.
At halftime, the Spurs lead 60-53.
19 points from DeMar DeRozan, 16 from Derrick White and 12 from LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs, who shot better than 55 percent from the floor in the first half.
Luka Doncic, the star rookie for Dallas, was questionable with an injury before the game. He played, but was not very effective. He scored 5 points, shooting under 25 percent and committing two turnovers.
Both offenses were sluggish to open the second period, with a combined 15 points in just over 5 minutes. That's a far cry from the 34 the Spurs tallied in the first quarter. With DeRozan getting a break after his first-quarter burst, it was someone else's turn to carry the offense.
Derrick White got going, in addition to Aldridge, to boost the Spurs to the halftime lead. White had 9 points in the quarter, and then DeRozan picked up where he left off in the first.
And this is your first-half play of the game (so far). It will probably end up being the best play of the night, and it made Dirk Nowitzki look old and slow.
After one, the Spurs lead 34-24.
DeMar DeRozan owned the first quarter, helping the Spurs seize control in the opening period. DeRozan was everywhere, scoring 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting while playing all 12 minutes.
After a slow start, the Spurs got going with an 11-0 run, turning a 4-point hole into a 26-19 lead.
Dallas was led in the first few minutes by Dirk Nowitzki, who hasn't announced his future plans, but many expect will retire at the season's end.
Tuesday night's game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas features teams that are headed in different directions. The Spurs have won five straight, while the Mavericks have dropped five straight. The Mavericks may also be without their super rookie, Luka Doncic, who is listed as questionable with a left knee strain. Doncic leads his team in points, assists and rebounds, which isn't something you often say about a rookie.
Even so, the Mavericks have proven to be a tough team to beat at home. Their 21-12 home record lines up with several teams that are in playoff contention. It's just that the Mavericks have just 6 road wins, a number that matches the worst mark in the league and is a big reason why the team has no hope of making the playoffs.
The Spurs are a woeful 12-22 away from San Antonio, well below the league average road winning percentage. The good news? The last time the Silver & Black went to Dallas, they left with a 105-101 win.
Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. in Dallas and the game can be seen on TNT.
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