Mavericks vs. Spurs
Tony Parker scores 25 points and dishes out seven assists, Tim Duncan adds a double-double as the Spurs defeat the Mavericks.
SAN ANTONIO — Feeling somewhat good about themselves after concluding a 1-2 homestand Tuesday night with a 110-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks were still bruised and battered.
Already facing a daunting task one night later as they squared off against the Southwest Division rival San Antonio Spurs without their top perimeter defender and leading rebounder, the Mavericks then learned they would also be handicapped two nights later in New Orleans as four-time All-Star Shawn Marion continues to receive treatment back home for a bruised right shoulder and upper ribs. Still, even without the services of Marion on their two-game trip, the Mavericks tried to push their road win streak to five Wednesday in a nationally-televised showdown against the Spurs.
However, while trying to avenge a 116-107 home defeat at the hands of the Spurs (28-8) on Dec. 26, the Mavs couldn’t avoid a seventh straight loss versus their in-state rivals. And after trailing by as much as 29, the Mavericks (20-16) limped away from the AT&T Center with a 112-90 defeat.
“If [Marion] is not here, we’ve got to have other guys step up,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss.
He added: “You know, at this point we’re getting into mid-January and there’s going to be games missed all across the league. We’ve got to have other guys ready to step forward, and this was a disappointing night.”
With Marion unavailable after sustaining his injuries during the second quarter of Tuesday’s win following a hard fall, Carlisle went back to the lineup he began the second half with en route to the victory, inserting new addition Wayne Ellington into the first unit. Meanwhile, the Spurs took the court minus a man as well, as swingman Manu Ginobili sat out due to tightness in his left hamstring.
Nowitzki on the Post
Dirk Nowitzki posts up Boris Diaw and sinks the patent step-back jumper.
Facing his former team for a second time and looking to replicate a 14-point, 11-rebound outing against the Spurs in December, starting center DeJuan Blair hoped to get the Mavs out of the gates quickly. However, while still buzzing following their 110-108 win in Memphis on Tuesday, the Spurs would prove to be the aggressors, jumping out to an early 13-4 advantage.
And after 7-of-26 shooting in the opening quarter, the Mavs slid into the second period down by nine, 25-16.
“I mean, it was ugly from the get-go,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki admitted. “Offensively, we couldn’t get any bounces and couldn’t get anything to go but kind of hung in there, surprisingly.”
Allowing the Spurs to snag down eight offensive rebounds in the first 12 minutes of play, the Mavs tried to keep the home team off the glass in the second stanza. The visiting Dallas team also began to get a boost from Nowitzki just one night after his 27 points and seven rebounds led the Mavs to the win over the Lakers.
But not to be outdone was Spurs point guard Tony Parker as he moved into double figures in scoring. And with Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard also exploiting the Dallas defense, the Mavs found themselves on the downside of a 45-38 score entering the halftime intermission.
Shooting just 35.4 percent through two quarters and outrebounded, 36-18, the Mavericks didn’t have to look far to figure out what went wrong in the first half. Meanwhile, the Spurs connected on 41.5 percent at the other end, taking advantage of their 14-3 margin in second-chance points.
With Parker back on the attack after the break in the action, the Spurs sprinted to another double-digit advantage early in the third period. At the other end, Mavs 2-guard Monta Ellis took charge of the Dallas offense. Nowitzki, meanwhile, concentrated on defense, collecting his 1,000th career steal in the quarter to join Derek Harper (1,551) as the only players to record 1,000 thefts with the franchise.
Carter Throws Down
Vince Carter makes his way past the Spurs defense to the rim for the one-handed flush.
Nowitzki also entered another exclusive club, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Garnett as the only players in NBA history with at least 25,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 steals. Still, with Marco Belinelli providing the Spurs with a spark off the bench, San Antonio surged to an 82-62 advantage entering the fourth quarter following Mavs sixth man Vince Carter’s 3-pointer to close the third.
“The third quarter was a demolition,” Carlisle matter-of-factly said.
“They just kept pouring it on there in the third and we couldn’t really get any stops,” Nowitzki added. “Parker got hot out of the halftime and we couldn’t really get any stops.”
With Nowitzki struggling through an off-shooting night, the ball swung to backup big man Brandan Wright in the final quarter. The Spurs countered with the perimeter shooting of their reserves, taking a 96-68 lead on Cory Joseph’s triple to force a timeout by Carlisle with 7:06 remaining.
Carlisle then waved the white flag, pulling his top contributors with the game no longer in doubt.
With Nowitzki just 3 of 14 from the field, Ellis led the Mavs with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Carter was the only other Mav in double figures with 14 points off the bench.
Parker led the Spurs with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, adding seven assists. Belinelli pitched in 17 points off the bench, hitting six of nine shots. Meanwhile, future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan collected a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds inside. The Spurs also finished the night outshooting the Mavs, 52.6 percent to 41.9 percent, in addition to collecting a 55-32 rebounding separation.
“Well, the rebounding killed us all night long. I mean, we were down 36-18 at halftime, and that’s just not good enough,” Carlisle concluded. “We had some defensive possessions, possibly three in the first quarter, where we had them down in the shot clock, made them take a difficult shot and then they tipped it in. You know, we’ve got to finish off possessions and there were too many of those. San Antonio makes you pay for those kind of mistakes, and we weren’t shooting it well and they were. We never had enough defensive traction all night and we got out-competed.”
“Right now they have our number,” Wright added. “You know, someway and somehow we have to turn that around. You know, we’re going to see these guys two more times this year and hopefully the results will be different.”
Note: The Mavericks will now head to New Orleans for a second meeting against the Pelicans this season. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 100-97 road win on Dec. 4. The game will air locally Friday night on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.
The Mavericks will then return to American Airlines Center on Saturday to complete the home-and-home series against the Pelicans. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
Mavericks vs. Spurs: First half
Kawhi Leonard has 12 points, Tony Parker is adding 11 points as the Spurs lead the Mavericks 45-38 at the half.
|Wayne Ellington, F||11||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||-15||2-4||1-2||0-0|
|Dirk Nowitzki, F||27||8||2||1||1||5||5||0||1||2||-23||3-14||0-2||2-2|
|DeJuan Blair, C||22||6||1||2||1||6||3||3||0||3||-11||3-7||0-0||0-0|
|Monta Ellis, G||34||21||4||1||1||3||1||2||1||1||-21||10-18||0-1||1-2|
|Jose Calderon, G||26||5||2||2||0||2||2||0||0||2||-15||2-11||1-4||0-0|
San Antonio Spurs
|Kawhi Leonard, F||26||12||0||1||0||8||7||1||0||1||15||5-9||1-2||1-1|
|Tim Duncan, F||29||16||1||0||2||13||10||3||4||0||17||5-8||0-0||6-6|
|Boris Diaw, C||28||6||6||1||1||5||3||2||1||2||24||2-5||0-0||2-2|
|Danny Green, G||29||7||0||0||0||9||8||1||0||1||13||2-4||1-2||2-2|
|Tony Parker, G||28||25||7||0||0||2||2||0||6||0||18||10-15||0-0||5-6|
|Nando De Colo||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0-0||0-0||0-0|
SAN ANTONIO — Despite finishing their three-game homestand on a high note following Tuesday’s 110-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks admit they face a much more daunting task one night later.
Returning from an unbeaten three-game road trip, the Mavericks (20-15) struggled on their home floor while sliding to losses to the L.A. Clippers and New York Knicks to begin their homestand. But, after gutting out Tuesday’s win to snap a four-game losing streak at American Airlines Center, the Mavs now square off against the Southwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs with a bit of momentum.
“Well, we needed to stop the bleeding somehow. I think it wasn’t as pretty, but we got the job done somehow,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of the win following his game-high 27-point performance. “I don’t think we were very good defensively and kind of kept them hanging around.”
“I think it was a much-needed win for us,” sixth man Vince Carter added after providing 19 points off the bench. “Going on the road our next game on a back-to-back against a San Antonio team that plays very well at home, I’m glad we were able to bounce back and not go 3-0 (on the road) and then 0-3 at home. It was a rough two games for us, but I think everybody was locked in (Tuesday).”
The victory came with a price, however, as the Mavs were forced to travel to San Antonio without their defensive catalyst after four-time All-Star Shawn Marion went down in the first half with a right shoulder contusion. And without Marion in the lineup, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will be forced to make several adjustments on the fly in order to extend Dallas’ four-game road winning streak.
“He’s banged up,” Carlisle said of Marion’s status. “X-rays were negative. He’s not going to travel with us (to San Antonio) and we hope that he feels better tomorrow or the next day. We’ll see. … He’s a tough guy. He’s played hurt plenty of times, but he took a bad fall and we’re going to keep him here for now.”
Meanwhile, without Marion, the Mavs will try to end a six-game losing skid at the hands of the Spurs (27-8), who return home following a 110-108 victory at Memphis on Tuesday thanks to Manu Ginobili’s driving score with 1.8 seconds remaining.
Falling by an average of 16.0 points during that six-game span, the Mavericks hope to also avenge a 116-107 home defeat back on Dec. 26. That figures to be no easy task, though, as the Mavericks continue a stretch of four games in five nights.
Note: The Mavs head to San Antonio for a showdown on the second night of a back-to-back against the Southwest Division-leading Spurs. The Spurs lead the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavericks a 116-107 home defeat back on Dec. 26. The game will air locally Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN.
The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Saturday to complete a home-and-home series against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 100-97 road win on Dec. 4. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.