January 17, 2019 / 4:21 AM / 6 months ago

Spurs' bench comes alive, trims Mavs

EditorsNote: rewords lede

On a night when LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to eight points and DeMar DeRozan managed just 14 points, the San Antonio Spurs relied on their bench to rally from a 19-point deficit and beat the host Dallas Mavericks 105-101 on Wednesday night.

Marco Belinelli led the bench charge in the second half, and he topped the Spurs in scoring with 17 points. Patty Mills had 14 and Davis Bertans added 12 points, including a dagger 3-pointer with 1:42 to play.

DeRozan, who contributed nine assists, still managed to do some late-game damage, scoring four consecutive points and then setting up Aldridge for a dunk in a 6-0 run that put the Spurs ahead 96-90.

Mavericks rookie sensation Luka Doncic, who led Dallas with 25 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, tied the game again at 96-96 with four straight points and an alley-oop assist to DeAndre Jordan.

But then came Bertans’ 3-pointer for a 99-96 lead that the Spurs, who didn’t lead until 82-80 early in the fourth, would not relinquish.

Bertans, Belinelli and Mills combined to go 11 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Dallas got off to a blistering start, rolling to a 23-4 lead on the power of five 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes, and led 35-20 after one quarter. DeRozan and Aldridge were both scoreless in the opening period.

The Mavericks led 56-45 at the half, but the Spurs continued to creep closer, clinging within 80-75 after three quarters.

Doncic, who became the first rookie to score at least 25 points in five consecutive games since Stephen Curry in the 2009-10 season, simply didn’t get enough help. Dallas shot just 43 percent from the floor despite the hot start and was 15 of 42 from beyond the arc.

Wesley Matthews was Dallas’ second-leading scorer with 13 points. Dorian Finney-Smith had 12 off the bench, and Harrison Barnes was limited to 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting.

The Spurs hit 49.4 percent of their field-goal attempts.

—Field Level Media

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