The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs renew their Lone Star State rivalry Thursday in Big D after producing opposite performances in their most recent outings — one a defensive collapse, the other an offensive explosion.
Such is life in the daily, game-to-game grind in the NBA.
The Spurs head north after a record-setting offensive performance in Monday’s 145-115 rout in Memphis. San Antonio shot 67.4 percent from the floor — the highest in any NBA game this season — and 62.5 percent from beyond the arc while posting season-high totals in points and assists (36).
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 40 points, the eighth time in his career he has scored at least 40 and the fourth time this season he has hit the 30-point mark.
DeMar DeRozan made 10 of 11 shots and added 26 points and 10 assists for San Antonio.
Trey Lyles added 17 points for the Spurs while Dejounte Murray and Marco Belinelli scored 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The 145 points scored by the Spurs were the most ever given up by Memphis, and the 46 first-quarter points by the Spurs were the most ever scored against the Grizzlies in a quarter.
The win in Memphis came after 134-109 loss at home to the Los Angeles Clippers — a complete night-and-day difference.
“(LaMarcus) and DeMar led the way. It was great to see the whole team jump in,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We had a bad game last game. This is the way you react to something like that.”
Dallas dropped a 110-107 decision at Toronto on Sunday after leading by 30 points with three minutes to play in the third quarter. The comeback was the largest in Raptors history.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle criticized his team for losing its edge and aggression during Toronto’s rally.
“When you get hit with that kind of force, you’ve got to respond with equal or greater force, and we just didn’t do it soon enough,” Carlisle said.
Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Jalen Brunson scored 21 points for Dallas in the loss.
The Mavericks hope to get back star guard Luka Doncic on Thursday after he missed the past four games with an ankle injury. Doncic returned to practice on Tuesday and Dallas has gone 2-2 without him.
“I’m feeling good,” Doncic said. “A lot of things that we have to do, and we’re just taking care of it. We’ll see how it progresses. I just want to go back on the court to play, because I’m competitive. I just wanted it to get better quick, get back as soon as possible.”
Carlisle remained noncommittal but was certainly glad to see the his 20-year-old star back on the practice floor.
“He seems to be doing better every day,” Carlisle said. “He’ll certainly be upgraded. He’s doing well. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and then Thursday we’ll see what’s what, but things are looking better and better.”
Doncic is averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists in 25 games. He suffered the injury against the Miami Heat on Dec. 14.
–Field Level Media