After three defeats in a row and the accumulation of casualties, with the protocols for COVID raging, the Mavericks have won two high-level games, first in Indiana and now in San Antonio (117-122). They are positive again (8-7) and prepare the ground for the return of Joshn Richardson, Maxi Kleber, Dwigth Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith …
In full drink each victory is worth gold, fill the bag for what comes next. And more if they come expressing one of the issues to be discussed after last season: the attack in the decisive moments. The Mavericks feigned disaster. After being +17 in the second quarter (40-57) and +16 in the third (71-87), they were embolized with the rapier: from 105-113 in the absence of 4:46 to 112-113 already in the last minute. There, in full shaking, Luka Doncic appeared. Two penetrations towards his right flank, the first resolved with a basket after dance LaMarcus Aldridge and score in reverse against table (112-115) and the second with a surgical assist to Jalen Brunson, who was waiting in the corner to score the final triple (112-118). “The most important thing is that we make better decisions. We miss good shots to find better ones. That was the key to that endingDoncic said. “We have one more year, so we are one year wiser. We have worked on that game in the final moments, we have talked about it and we have understood that it is something very important to get where we want as a team. Luka kept the team togetherRick Carlisle finished off.
The 2018 draft sealed the win. The excellent Jalen Brunson (starter for Richardson’s absence) was the pick 33. Doncic, of course, was the 3rd, and he arrived in Dallas via the Atlanta Hawks. The first one scored 16 points and distributed 6 assists. It is an excellent guard that he makes very few mistakes and seems capable of always doing what his team needs, usually in a valuable low profile. Doncic, meanwhile, is the supernova. This time 36 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists with 13/28 in shooting (4/12 in triples) and only two losses. The Slovenian tied at the end a match that had started with a first quarter of those that force you to rub your eyes: he scored or assisted in 35 of his team’s 37 total points (34-37) and finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. They are good numbers until the end of the game … that he signed in a quarter. And he has three in his NBA career with at least 15 + 5 + 5. No one has achieved anything like it in the last quarter century and only Giannis Antetokounmpo has done it twice.
To top it all, Doncic was able to rest for more than a half-second quarter because the Mavs performed wonderfully without him (from that 34-37 to 45-59 when he returned to court). Tim Hardaway Jr added 21 points and Kristaps Porzingis another 21 with 8 rebounds, fed by Doncic to the post, something not very usual for the Latvian, increasingly trusting his outside shot. Carlisle acknowledged that Doncic interpreted that his teammate had to take the point of the game by attacking smaller defenders near the rim. It worked. The Spurs (8-8) sold a loss that seemed certain, especially after losing Dejounte Murray (an ankle injury) right away. LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 points and 9 rebounds, Keldon Johnson 17 + 14 and DeMar Derozan 29 + 6 with 6 assists … and a few decisive failures when his team tried to complete a comeback that died on the shore. Luka Doncic put down the rebellion.