The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Spurs

Final: Mavs 95, Spurs 89

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Due to Yogi Ferrell starting, it takes quite a bit of maneuvering to get the Barea-Ferrell-Harris-Dirk-Powell lineup on the floor. But Rick Carlisle was able to pull it off in the fourth quarter of this one, and that group outscored the Spurs by nine points in just a few minutes with inspired play at both ends, including maybe Dwight Powell’s most effective game of the season.

The Spurs had won the previous five games in the series at American Airlines Center heading into this one. Last season the Mavs ended a heck of a drought by winning in San Antonio, too. The Spurs remain an elite team in this conference, but Dallas has managed to play them awfully competitively now for a couple years.

Notebook

  • J.J. Barea is a wizard. Watch these plays and then tell me that magic isn’t real.

    Show me all the evidence suggesting the opposite that you want, but I’ll tell you you’re wrong. That Barea is 33 years old and still doing this to opposing teams is a testament not only to his longevity, but also his ability to keep working to improve even at this stage of his career.

  • The Spurs are notorious for double-teaming bigger players in the post, especially when they have a mismatch, which really forces those guys to be aware and able to make good passes. When executed well, those situations can produce some really beautiful basketball, like in the sequences below.

    If Harrison Barnes can ever become the passer Dirk Nowitzki is, especially out of double-teams, he can become a really special player and a very difficult guy for opposing teams to guard.

  • Antonius Cleveland didn’t get as many minutes tonight as he did on Sunday in Minnesota, but the rookie was still able to block another mid-range pull-up, which has become one of the toughest shots to block in the league. This time around, he got Kawhi Leonard.

    Leonard made his season debut tonight and was otherwise sensational. (He’s the second key Spur to debut against Dallas this season, joining Tony Parker.) But Cleveland was still able to make some nice plays against the superstar forward, which gives you hope that he can continue to improve in his blossoming role off the bench.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (8-20) will play the Golden State Warriors (22-6) on Thursday at Oracle Arena at 9:30 p.m. Central.