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Published on March 13th, 2019 | by Hype Editorial

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Spurs Stay Hot, Mavs Keep Learning

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History. That was the common theme thrown around between the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. The Spurs held off a late rally by the Mavs to win 112-105 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The two franchises have had one of the more competitive and memorable rivalries in the NBA, and the seasonal routine matchup lived up to the name.

“A win is a win. No matter where we playing at, we needed it. We could have been playing in Alaska tonight and I would have felt the same. We needed it.” says newly acquired veteran DeMar DeRozan when asked about getting a victory over a state rival. The Spurs came into the game with a record of 38-29, sitting at the 6th spot in the Western Conference playoff seedings. Dallas, on the other hand, is on the outside looking into the playoff race and were desperately looking for a win knowing they’d need help from other teams to make it into the postseason.

One of the spotlights throughout the season for the Spurs lands on newest member and 4-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan, acquired via trade from the Toronto Raptors over the summer. He had a game-high 33 points, to go along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich summed up DeRozan’s performance in a matter of a few words, “He’s always had it. That is what he does.” Forward LaMarcus Aldridge also had a good game with 28 points and 7 rebounds.

There were spurts throughout the game from both teams, with San Antonio leading the way for the majority of it. The biggest factor, however, came down to the stripe. Dallas went 15-26 while San Antonio went a perfect 18-18. It’s a simple stat, but yet it is what impacted the final score. “We just had an off night. They are a team that doesn’t make mistakes…Sometimes that happens. But it is a process and it is trusting in your routine.” says Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle. One eye-opener is Dallas rookie sensation Luka Doncic, who likely will make the case for a Rookie of the Year candidate. He struggled from the line while being responsible for 9 of the teams 14 turnovers. Though Carlisle talked about an off night, he was hopeful for the team going forward into the future, and this involves newly acquired star Kristaps Porzingis via trade from the New York Knicks.

Dallas struggled from the line but it was San Antonio’s hard-nosed defense down the stretch that secured the win. “They scored 105. That’s good if we can keep it around 100. That is difficult to do in the league these days…” says Popovich. The Spurs (39-29), will head back home to face the New York Knicks as Dallas (27-40) heads out onto the road to play one of the leagues top teams, the Denver Nuggets (43-22). Carlisle talked about this being a learning process for his young and inexperienced team, and now he will see if they can take this onto the road to a hostile environment and pull out a win. The Spurs, having won their 6th straight, will look to continue this hot streak as they make their run for a strong playoff push. They will head home to face the New York Knicks (13-55) the following Friday.

 

Written by Sonny Reza


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