San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs defeat Mavericks 97-91: Recap, highlights and more

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 14: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on November 14, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 14: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on November 14, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs toppled the Dallas Mavericks 97-91 off of a season-high 32 points and two blocks by LaMarcus Aldridge. With this victory, they’ve now won five of their last six games.

After a rocky stretch to begin the month, the Spurs are back on track. They’ve won both of their last two games and have improved their record to 9-5 to start the year.

San Antonio, despite coming out with the victory, struggled to score throughout the night. They shot just 44.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from behind the arc as a team. Of the twelve players logging minutes, just four of them shot above 50 percent.

As the team’s starting point guard, Patty Mills was a bright spot for the sluggish San Antonio offense. He finished with 19 points and four steals in the contest. His high motor and ball handling allowed him to create his own shots against Dallas’ deep guard rotation.

With star forward Kawhi Leonard rehabbing from a quad injury, Aldridge has been the rock for coach Gregg Popovich’s squad. In addition to his scoring performance, the 12th year power forward contributed five rebounds and four assists. His physical dominance in the paint was complimented nicely by a handful of mid-range jumpers throughout the evening.

Pop on Aldridge: "So far, he’s had a great season. He came in in great shape, really committed, much more comfortable, much more confident in the system, playing freely, and he’s been a great leader on top of it all. He’s been are most consistent player." #Spurs

— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) November 15, 2017

Legendary power forward Dirk Nowitzki dominated the Maverick’s stat sheet with 12 points, six assists, seven rebounds and a block. His well-rounded performance was coupled with an explosive scoring performance from rookie Dennis Smith Jr. He scored a team-high 27 points on the night.

With this victory, Coach Popovich notched his 500th career road victory. He’s joined Pat Riley and Don Nelson as the only coaches in NBA History to reach the feat.

Rebounding was a major key to the Spurs’ success. They outrebounded Dallas, 47-40 including eight offensive boards. Center Pau Gasol led the team with 10 rebounds. Guard DeJounte Murray, who played just 20 minutes, grabbed seven of his own.

Major contributors to the Spurs’ offense struggled to find the basket tonight. Rudy Gay and Danny Green scored just four points each and combined for three made baskets on 13 shots.

For a team dependent on depth and versatility, the Spurs found very little help from their bench rotation. With seven players coming off of the pine for Popovich, only Dejounte Murray and Manu Ginobili were able to find success. Murray finished with 10 points and Ginobili scored 13 in just 16 minutes of play.

With tonight's win, the Spurs fell back to 15th offensively (104.5 PP/100), but they improved to 5th defensively (100.7 PP/100).

A top-5 defense minus a 2-time defensive player of the year is pretty remarkable for SA through 14 games.

— Paul Garcia (@PaulGarciaNBA) November 15, 2017

HOW MANU?! pic.twitter.com/Po97lTGxyB

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 15, 2017

? @DejounteMurray https://t.co/26Oy3dfx4s

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 15, 2017

Kyle feeds LA for the jam! pic.twitter.com/XIxG0f13q7

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 15, 2017

Gregg Popovich is the fastest coach in NBA history to 500 road wins. Games to 500:Gregg Popovich – 835Pat Riley – 876Don Nelson – 1,111

— Jordan Howenstine (@AirlessJordan) November 15, 2017

Next: Spurs: Kawhi Leonard will return ‘sooner rather than later’

The Spurs will travel to Minneapolis for a Wednesday evening matchup with the Timberwolves. San Antonio opened their season with a 107-99 victory over Minnesota in October. This will be the second of three meetings in the season series.

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