Luka Doncic scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and distributed eight assists in his return to the lineup after missing four games to help the Dallas Mavericks hold off the visiting San Antonio Spurs 102-98 on Thursday.
Dallas led by five points entering the fourth quarter and by just 82-79 after a layup by the Spurs’ Patty Mills with 10:11 to play. However, the Mavericks turned up the heat. Kristaps Porzingis made consecutive 3-pointers, and Dallas later went on a 14-2 run that featured two treys by Dorian Finney-Smith and one apiece from Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson, stretching their margin to 17 points.
The Spurs made a final surge, scoring the final 13 points of the game, but they could not climb all the way back, falling to their Lone Star State rivals for the second time in two meetings this season.
Doncic, who had been out with an ankle injury, picked up right where he left off, and the rest of the Mavericks rode his talented coattails for much of the game.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17 points for Dallas, which has won nine of its past 13 games. Finney-Smith and Porzingis hit for 13 points each, Wright scored 12, and Dwight Powell pumped in 11 points for the Mavericks. Maxi Kleber led Dallas with 12 rebounds.
DeMar DeRozan paced the Spurs with 21 points while Rudy Gay had 18, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 and Derrick White hit for 10. Gay amassed a team-high eight rebounds. San Antonio has alternated wins and losses in its past eight games dating back to early December.
Doncic paced Dallas with 13 points and Powell added 11 for the Mavericks as they built a 52-47 lead at the half. The first two quarters featured 10 lead changes and no lead bigger than eight points.
Aldridge led the Spurs with 13 points in the first half while no other player had more than six points for San Antonio, which outshot Dallas 47.7 percent to 44.7 percent from the floor but hit just 2 of 14 shots from beyond the arc.
The Mavericks led 79-66 after Hardaway’s 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining in the third quarter, but San Antonio, led by two jumpers from beyond the arc by Gay, finished the period with an 8-0 run to cut the Dallas advantage to 79-74 entering the final 12 minutes.
Two Porzingis 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter stretched the Mavericks’ lead to 88-79.
The Spurs wound up outshooting the Mavericks 48.2 percent to 42.2 percent from the floor, and each team was 10 of 15 at the foul line. The difference was 3-point shooting: Dallas was 16 of 40, and San Antonio was 8 of 29.
—Field Level Media