5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 109-103 WIN OVER SPURS
DONCIC JOINS KIDD IN TRIPLE-DOUBLE KINGDOM: He fought through a pair of painful slaps to his left thumb, but Luka Doncic battled through his last game as a 20-year old in grand style. Doncic collected 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists while picking up the 21st triple-double of his career. That ties Doncic with Jason Kidd for the most in Mavs history. He also took over the NBA lead for the most triple-doubles this season with 13 – one more than Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar LeBron James. This was Doncic’s first triple-double since he registered 25 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists during a 127-123 road win over the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 23.
PORZINGIS LAID THE FOUNDATION: As he continues to flourish at the center position, Kristaps Porzingis has not-so-quietly settled into his new role while displaying powerful glimpses of the player who earned a spot on the 2018 Eastern Conference All-Star team when he played for the New York Knicks. Porzingis scored a game-high 28 points against the Spurs, and needed only 14 shots to get there. He also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, blocked a game-high tying three shots and had a game-high tying two steals. Overall, Porzingis was 8-of-14 from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point land, 8-of-10 from the charity stripe, and his 16 points guided the Mavs to an early 28-15 lead.
MAVS WERE CLUTCH: Who says the Mavs can’t win a game when they’re behind in the fourth quarter? Trailing, 93-92, with 5:20 left in the game following a 3-pointer by Patty Mills, the Mavs outscored the Spurs, 17-10, the balance of the game to run their record on the road to an impressive 20-9. The Mavs were 6-of-10 from the field down the stretch, including 3-of-5 from downtown. They also held the Spurs to just 4-of-9 shooting from the field during that stretch. In essence, this was the type of game the Mavs have often lost much of this season. But on Wednesday, they figured out how to win in one of the toughest arenas in the NBA.
STATS DON’T ALWAYS TELL THE TRUE STORY: It’s been said numerous times that stats don’t always tell the true story on what unfolded during a game and what led to a team’s victory. For instance, the Spurs had more fast break points (19-4) than the Mavs, more points in the paint (46-34), more points off turnovers (23-22), more field goals made (39-36), more points off the bench (40-17) and more rebounds (55-43). But in the end, none of that mattered on a night when the Mavs led by as much as 19 points. The Mavs basically won the only stat that really mattered – the team with the most points.
MAVS LEARNED SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES: The Mavs grew up a bit Wednesday night. They also learned that they can lose a 19-point lead in a hostile environment and live to tell about it. In addition, they learned that when in the middle of a playoff race, it’s very important to gather their wits and emerge with a victory when things get tight. Coach Rick Carlisle said: “We’re a young team that’s continually growing and learning about each other, about playing in tough competitive situations. We’re battling for playoff position and we’re fighting to prepare ourselves for the playoffs.” That fight was on full display against the Spurs. And this was the kind of win that’ll help teach the Mavs going forward.