The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 112-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs
Mar 13, 2019Dwain Price
BRUNSON’S CAREER NIGHT: Jalen Brunson has come a very long way from his days participating in the Mavs’ summer league last July. The rookie from Villanova proved once again that he should have indeed been a first-round draft pick last summer. While playing 37 minutes against the Spurs, Brunson poured in a career-high 34 points and was an exceptional 12-of-16 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range. It’s the most points Brunson has scored in a game since his high school days. The second-round draft pick also extended his career-best double-figure scoring output to five straight games. Over the last five games Brunson is averaging 18.2 ppg and 5.2 apg, and is shooting 60.7 percent from the field and is a perfect 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
THE POWER OF 20 FOR POWELL: After reaching the 20-point scoring barrier only four times in his first four seasons, Dwight Powell has now accomplished that feat five times in the last 10 games. That includes the 20 points he collected Tuesday against the Sours when he was 6-of-15 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line, and also grabbed seven rebounds while playing a career-high 39 minutes. Powell has been on an amazing tear in the 10 games since the All-Star break, with averages of 16.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg in 32.7 mpg. During that 10-game span he also has converted on 62.2 percent of the field goals (61-of-98), 46.4 percent of his 3-point attempts (13-of-28), and 77.3 percent of his free throws (34-of-44).
MAVS WON (MOST OF) THE STAT GAME: Except for the most important stat of them all, the Mavs won most of the key stats against the Spurs. The Mavs outscored the Spurs in the paint by a 40-32 margin, they outscored the Spurs in second-chance points 14-12, and they outscored them in fast break points 7-4. The Mavs also scored 42 points on their 3-point baskets to just 24 points for the Spurs on theirs. The Mavs even finished the game tied with the Spurs in rebounds, 38-38. However, while the Spurs were a perfect 18-of-18 from the free throw line, the Mavs were just 15-of-26 from the charity stripe. And those 11 misses were crucial in a game that went down to the last minute before it was decided.
LUKA’S STRUGGLES: Chalk this up as one of those rare games that happens on occasions to even the game’s best players. No one is immune to it. Such was the case Tuesday night as Luka Doncic struggled mightily against the Spurs. The rookie from Slovenia scored just 12 points, picked up six rebounds, distributed seven assists and blocked two shots. However, he was just 5-of-18 from the field, 1-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc, and an even more surprising 1-of-9 from the free throw line. Doncic was limited in Monday’s practice after he suffered a left knee strain late in Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets. Perhaps he was still dealing with that injury against the Spurs.
DIRK CLOSING IN ON WILT: With the eight points he scored against the Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki is now just 27 points away from passing Wilt Chamberlain and becoming the No. 6 all-time leading scorer in NBA history. Chamberlain finished his illustrious career with 31,419 points, and Nowitzki has now scored 31,393 points. At the rate he’s been going lately, Nowitzki could pass Chamberlain either in Saturday’s home game against Cleveland or in Monday’s home game against New Orleans. Nowitzki went 3-for-3 from the field against the Spurs — including 2-for-2 from 3-point land — and tallied eight points less than six minutes into Tuesday’s game. But he misfired on his only other two field goal attempts.