San Antonio at Dallas, Final Score: Spurs dominate late and defeat Mavericks 115-108

In Tony Parker’s return to action, it was the dominant inside play of LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol that made the difference as the Spurs took over in the second half and defeated the Mavericks.

The story of the night was the return of Tony Parker, but it was the dominance of the Spurs in the paint, led by LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol that made the difference as the Spurs overcame a sloppy second quarter to pull away late and beat the Mavericks 115-108. Danny Green’s defense and timely shots were also a big factor in the Spurs dominant second half performance. JJ Barea kept the Mavericks in the game for much of the second half as he hit clutch shots, but it wasn’t enough as the Spurs pulled away in the fourth.

Game Flow

Pau Gasol started off the scoring with a pure three off a Danny Green assist, and LaMarcus Aldridge added to it with some easy inside buckets with Tony Parker assisting. Max Kleber scored early for the Mavs, but with Tony looking sharp scoring in the paint, the Spurs raced to an early 15-7 lead. Tony took a seat after 5 minutes and the LaMarcus handled the scoring load for the Silver and Black. The Mavs mounted a comeback and the Mavs took their first lead with a Devin Harris triple to lead 21-19. Bad Manu made an appearance late in the quarter, and turnovers led to a 23-21 lead for the Mavs after 12 minutes.

Tony reentered the game as the second quarter began, but a live ball turnover from Gasol led to a JJ Barea breakaway bucket. The sloppy play continued as the Spurs handed ball to the Mavs for easy baskets, leading to an early 9 point lead for the Ponies. LaMarcus finally broke the drought with a pair of free throws, but Barea and the Mavs continued to beat the Spurs with their speed and extended the lead to double digits. After a missed out-of-bounds call, Pop pointed out the referee’s error emphatically, which was not appreciated, which earned him an early trip to the locker room with two quick techs. Brandon Paul made an impact for the Spurs with his gritty play, but the defense was a step slow, and Dennis Smith took advantage to keep them from closing the gap, in fact they extended the lead to 13 points with Devin Harris’ sharpshooting. The Spurs went on a min-run late capped with a pull up jumper in transition from Patty Mills to cut the Mavs lead to just four. Wesley Matthews made the final basket of the half for Dallas and the the Mavs led 53-46 at the half.

Tony Parker started the third period with one of his patented mid-range jumpers to cut the lead to 5. Danny Green hit a pretty triple with a nice move to get open, followed by a steal and and assist for a LaMarcus dunk to bring the Spurs to within a basket just three minutes into the quarter. Parker assisted Pau Gasol to bring the Spurs all the way back to tie it at 58. Then, Danny’s Tarheel Triple put the Spurs up for the first time since early in the game. Wes Matthews continued to deliver points for the Mavs, but the Spurs fought back again with dominant inside play led by Aldridge. The Spurs built an 8 point lead, but the Mavs fought back with Barea using screens to get open threes and the Spurs led 77-75 going into the fourth.

Bryn Forbes used a screen to hit a deep three to open the fourth for the Spurs. Dirk Nowitski took advantage of the Spurs switching to get points over guys much shorter than him. The game was tied with a deep triple from Barea at 82, but Forbes answered again to put the Spurs up by 3. Dejounte Murray used his long arms to finally get a stop on Barea, and a Kyle and-one bucket put the Spurs up by 5. The Mavs fought back to within a point, but Forbes struck again on a triple to put the Spurs up by 4. The seesaw battle continued with a Wes Matthews triple to cut the margin to a point with 4 minutes left. Then the Spurs went back to using their length to punish the Mavs and quickly stretched the lead to 11 with 3 minutes left, capped with a steal from Kyle Anderson that was punched to Patty for a breakaway layup. Dirk’s and-one and a pair of free throws from Wes cut the lead to 6, but Pau’s first career four-point play put the game out of reach. The last two minutes were great for individual stats as both teams scored easily while the margin remained comfortable for the Silver and Black. The Spurs ended up winning 115-108.

Random Thoughts

  • Rudy Gay sat out the game with a sore heel.
  • Tony Parker’s return to the court just four months after a devastating injury had the crowd pumped to start the game. He looked just as quick as ever early.
  • The Spurs offense has looked stagnant for much of the season. With Tony at the point, that wasn’t the case.
  • I was surprised by Pop’s early exit. He almost seemed to want to want to let Ettore Messina have some time leading the team.
  • After a quick start, the Spurs really stunk it up for most of the first half. Those kind of dry spells on offense along with scads of turnovers have become all too familiar to Spurs fans this year. They’ve got to clean that up if they expect to compete with the top teams in the spring and summer.
  • Kyle Anderson is just so good. He provides so much on offense and defense, and he’s a terrific rebounder.

Musical Interlude

Michael Martin Murphey says he dreamed this song before he wrote it. As a young dude, this was the first concert I ever went to, and I still really like this song.

Up Next

The Spurs return home to play the Grizzlies on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, who are reeling and just fired Dave Fizdale, who got rooked for going on a losing streak after Mike Conley got injured. Interim coach JB Bickerstaff will have the guys fired up to play the Spurs, so it’s going to be a fun game to watch.

Source: Pounding The Rock

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