Mavs’ Kidd: ‘(Jalen)Brunson was great from start to finish’

The undermanned Mavericks(5-3) came into San Antonio on the second half of a back-to-back to face the Spurs(2-6) after falling to the Heat on Tuesday night.

Dallas was again without Kristaps Porzingis(back) and Maxi Kleber(oblique).

But the Mavericks’ backcourt came up big in the fourth quarter. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson got it done for Dallas down the stretch, and the Mavericks defeated San Antonio 109-108.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Mavs’ win over San Antonio.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-Doncic and Brunson: The Mavs starting backcourt combined for 54, 22 rebounds, and 10 assists. Brunson had season-highs in points(31) and rebounds(10); he also added three assists and two steals. Doncic, who had led Dallas in points in the last seven games, scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Brunson(13) and Doncic(4) had 17 of the team’s 28 points against San Antonio in the fourth.

At one point, Brunson scored 13 straight points for Dallas in the fourth.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals. 

BOBI: Boban Marjanovic scored 17 points on 8/10 shooting and grabbed five rebounds off the Mavs’ bench. Marjanovic made one of the biggest defensive plays of the game when he guarded the in-bound pass that ended with Keldon Johnson throwing the ball away to end the contest.

Not So Great for the Mavericks:

-Dallas allowed the Spurs to score 60 points in the paint.

-The Mavericks were a little sloppy with the ball on Wednesday and had 19 turnovers.

-Injuries: Not only were the Mavs without Porzingis and Kleber, but they lost reserve forward Reggie Bullock, who did not play in the final three quarters after suffering a facial injury. 

Bottom Line:

Dallas may have found something with the Doncic and Brunson backcourt. Brunson takes the pressure off Doncic. He can bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense. In addition, Brunson gives Dallas another shot creator on the floor. It should be interesting to see when everybody returns if Kidd decides to go with Brunson in the starting lineup.

Here is Brunson’s stat line in the last two games as a starter:

25 PTS, 7 REB, 10-13 FG(Heat)

31 PTS, 10 REB, 9-17 FG(Spurs)

“Brunson was great from start to finish,” Kidd said postgame. “He was great (Tuesday) night. Great carryover. He gives us a second ballhandler. Also, he’s a guy who can put the ball in the basket and is comfortable playing alongside Luka.”

What’s Next:

Dallas returns home on Saturday night against the Celtics.

Best of the Rest:

Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists; Devin Vassell had 21 points, and Derrick White added 19 points.

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