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Mavericks fall to Spurs, 97-91

Mavericks fall to Spurs, 97-91

Dallas’ cold-shooting ways continued on Tuesday night as the Mavericks dropped to 2-13, the same as their 15-game mark last year, with a 97-91 loss to the Spurs.

Dennis Smith Jr. finished with a career-high 27 points including a ferocious dunk over Pau Gasol in the first half. The spark did little to help Dallas as the Mavs yet again struggled from the field and shot 40.7%

While the Mavericks had a chance to cut into the lead late, every bucket was met by a response by 40-year old Manu Ginobli and LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge had 32 points and Ginobli finished with 13 including a late lay-in that sealed Dallas’ latest defeat.

The Mavericks got off to a hot start with an opening 9-2 run behind quick baskets by Harrison Barnes, but the Spurs answered back to lead, 17-16, after the first quarter.

The offense picked up a little for both teams in the second quarter and the Spurs rode a 13-point first-half effort from Patty Mills to take a 44-39 lead.

Maxi Kleber, one of two Mavericks who finished with a positive net rating (+1), had a big second quarter with a monstrous dunk over Rudy Gay that resulted in a 3-point play and a big block later in the frame. Dirk Nowitzki was the other Maverick with a positive net rating (also +1) and he finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

With Aldridge rolling, head coach Rick Carlisle again opted to not use Nerlens Noel (0 points in 5 minutes) and used Salah Mejri in large helpings, much to the frustration early on of Aldridge. The two got tangled up and Aldridge drew a technical in the first half, but Aldridge prevailed more times than not on the offensive end.

J.J. Barea finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and helped key a Mavericks’ comeback in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

Dallas takes on Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home before returning to the American Airlines-Center at 8 p.m. Saturday to face Milwaukee.

I'm Zack Cunningham, a broadcast journalism major from Abilene Christian University's class of 2008. I've lived in Texas for 28 of my 31 years on this Earth and I've followed the Mavericks since 1998. My first memory of them was the 2001 playoffs and being extremely happy when they beat the Jazz, but sad when they lost to the Spurs in five games in the conference semifinals. However, seeing Dirk drop 42 stands out to me, punctuated by his dunk in garbage time. I covered high school sports for the Cleburne Times-Review from 2008-12 before moving into the tech industry. Most recently, in 2015 covered the Mavericks for the Fanatic briefly before moving to work with Mike Fisher at I am married to my beautiful wife, Jessica, and have been for just over five years now. We live in Carrollton with our dog, Zara, and cat, Drake. I'm looking forward to covering them again this season with the Fanatic!

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