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Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic lead Mavericks past Spurs 113-107 to sweep season series

NBA

SAN ANTONIO — — Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, Luka Doncic had 18 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks held off the San Antonio Spurs 113-107 on Tuesday night.

Doncic shot 6 of 27 from the field but still finished with his eighth triple-double in 10 games, helping Dalls win a game critical to its playoff hopes. It was just the sixth time in his career he’s shot worse than 25% while playing regular minutes.

“Yes, it does count as a ‘W,’” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “Not all wins are pretty.”

Dallas (40-29) trails Sacramento (39-28) by percentage points for sixth place in the Western Conference and the final automatic playoff berth.

Tre Jones scored 22 points and Devin Vassell added 19 points for San Antonio. Victor Wembanyama had 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for his 37th double-double.

“We made all kinds of mistakes, but so did they and they want to win a championship,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Our goal is to get better every game individually and team-wise, and they did that. I’m really proud of what they did.”

The Mavs swept their four-game season series against the Spurs after winning the first three by an average of 18.3 points. Irving and Doncic were critical in the final minutes of the closely contested finale.

“For us not to shoot the ball well, we relied on our defense to help us get this win,” Kidd said. “San Antonio is a team that puts a lot of pressure on your defense. I thought the guys did a really good job on Victor and Vassell.”

After trailing by 13 points in the first half, San Antonio had 11-0 runs to open the third quarter as well as early in the fourth. The latter run gave the Spurs a 95-93 lead with 6:57 remaining.

“Give San Antonio credit,” Kidd said. “They are long, they are active and they have a guy (Wembanyama) that can block or swipe a lot of shots.”

There were nine lead changes in the second half, but Dallas took a 102-101 lead with 3:46 remaining and didn’t trail again.

Irving and Doncic combined for 12 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes.

Dallas guard Dante Exum finished with 16 points, including eight in the final quarter.

San Antonio is 1-4 during a season-long eight-game homestand, which included a split of a two-game series in Austin.

After shooting 6 of 18 on 3-pointers in the first half, the Spurs went 6 of 11 on 3s in the third quarter.

Doncic shot 2 of 8 in the first quarter but had six points and five assists in the period. He had 11 points and 11 assists in the first half.

“It doesn’t matter how Luka is playing,” Exum said. “If he’s playing amazing, he’s going to get doubled. If he is playing bad, he’s going to get doubled. So, he’s always going to create opportunities for everyone to score and make the next play.”

Doncic weaved around a screen for a three-point play in the opening minutes, tossing in an 18-foot jumper after feigning a fadeaway that fooled Sochan into leaping into the Mavericks All-Star. Doncic collected his 10th assist with four minutes remaining in the first half when he flipped a no-look pass behind his back to Exum, who buried a 3-pointer.

SOURCE – Mavericks 113-107 Spurs (Mar 20, 2024) Game Recap – ESPN