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San Antonio Spurs: Top 3 stars from win over Mavericks

By Rob Wolkenbrod
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 14: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against Salah Mejri #50 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at American Airlines Center on November 14, 2017 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. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 14: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs dribbles the ball against Salah Mejri #50 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at American Airlines Center on November 14, 2017 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. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Who delivered in the San Antonio Spurs’ win over the Dallas Mavericks?

On Tuesday night, the San Antonio Spurs returned from two days off to begin a two-game road trip. It resulted in a win over the Dallas Mavericks, 97-91. This moved the Spurs to 9-5 and on a two-game winning streak.

These 48 minutes saw a handful of players from the Silver and Black step up and contribute to the six-point win. This included a 30-plus point performance from one member of the team.

With that said, who were the top three stars of the Spurs’ win over Dallas? Let’s take a look:

3. Dejounte Murray

The third star was close between Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson and Pau Gasol, as all were productive in different ways against the Mavericks. However, it belongs to Murray after producing quality numbers in somewhat limited minutes.

The final stat line for the second-year pro was 10 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes on 4-for-7 shooting. Nothing flashy but it was nearly a double-double, which would have been his third of the season. Well, maybe something stood out…

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

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

An interesting development has been the 3-point shooting for Murray. After taking just two attempts through the first 12 games and making none of them, he’s taken four over the past two contests and made three of them, with the latest against the Mavericks.

If this becomes a consistent part of Murray’s game, it will help him become a more well-rounded player and lead to more quality performances like this off the bench. It can’t hurt the “Point Guard of the Future” title, either.

Next: Patty Mills

2. Patty Mills

Having maybe his best game of the season, Patty Mills delivered 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting (4-for-9 from 3-point range), 4 steals, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block. It was a full night for the San Antonio Spurs starting point guard, who performed admirably as the No. 2 player on the offense.

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Through 14 games, it’s been an up and down process for Mills. He started ice cold, hardly shooting the ball and coming off the bench. Once head coach Gregg Popovich made the change at point guard, the Aussie’s shooting percentage went from 31.5 to 41.4 percent, 25 to 40.9 percent from behind the arc and 6.1 to 11.4 points per game.

The Spurs haven’t found consistency from Mills, but this uptick in production has given them a 5-2 record over the seven games he’s started. The two losses came against maybe the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, and a seven-point defeat to the surging Milwaukee Bucks.

Have a game, bala, have a game! @Patty_Mills put up a season-high 19 points in tonight's win over the Mavs. pic.twitter.com/DuvWwSwtGV

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

The starting experiment seems to be working for San Antonio, while Dejounte Murray thrives in a low-pressure bench role. Let’s see if it changes when Tony Parker returns from injury, potentially at the end of November. More performances like this may be needed to keep the job, unless the decision was already made by the staff.

Next: LaMarcus Aldridge

1. LaMarcus Aldridge

Easily the San Antonio Spurs’ best performer of the night, LaMarcus Aldridge delivered one of his best games of the season. He had 32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks on 12-for-21 shooting. These numbers outdid Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr., who had 27 points.

This point production was a boost of 18 from Saturday’s game against the Bulls when Aldridge only played 21 minutes. That was due to the large scoring margin that developed after the first quarter, leading to him putting up 14 points and 7 rebounds.

Tuesday’s game was the five-time All-Star’s season-high in points, topping it by just 1 (a 31-point performance against the Miami Heat). It raised his average to 22.5 per game, a spike of over 5 from the 2016-17 season.

His production likely will decrease when Kawhi Leonard returns from injury. According to Popovich, it will be “sooner rather than later.” How much “sooner” is unknown, but it’s a positive sign for his impending comeback.

LaMarcus Aldridge Scores 32 In Dynamic Performance for @Spurs! #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/CYxBeF1VSA

— NBA (@NBA) November 15, 2017

How much lower will Aldridge’s stats go, though? Well, he never topped an average of 19 points per game in his first two seasons in San Antonio. That could be an indication of where his numbers will go, unless it’s other players that see their production dip, rather than the 32-year-old big man.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

Who was your top 3 players from Tuesday’s win? Let’s see who the next ones are, when the Spurs take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

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