San Antonio Spurs 101, Dallas Mavericks 89: “We fully realize that was not the Dallas Mavericks.”
AT&T CENTER — No matter the outcome of San Antonio’s game on Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks, without Dirk Nowitzki it would prove nothing about where these two teams stood. Again.
And after the Spurs beat Dallas 101-89 in a game San Antonio controlled from start to finish, we learned two things we already knew: Dallas is punch-less without Dirk and Tony Parker is very, very good.
Sans Dirk on the floor for the Mavericks, Jason Kidd is the only player seemingly capable of creating offense for those around him. Unlike Dirk, though, Kidd can rarely create offense for himself.
When Kidd sat down for a breather late in the first quarter, the Spurs took a nine-point lead and stretched it to 18, outscoring Dallas 27-18 in the process. With Kidd on the bench, the Dallas offense devolved into possession after possession of trying to find a matchup that worked in their favor.
“We’re a couple bullets short of a clip,” Mavericks forward Shawn Marion said. “When you’re a couple short, others got to pick up the slack in all areas and not just in one area.”
Offensively, Tony Parker ran the show for the Spurs and completely controlled the night’s proceedings. Parker scored or assisted the first seven baskets of the game and finished the first quarter with 10 points and four assists. On the night, he logged 18 points and six assists in 25 minutes, but his finger was on the pulse of the game the whole way.
“[Tony] did a really good job of making decisions, for himself or for a teammate,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “He kept us real aggressive to start.”
With KiddÂ guardingÂ him, Parker was much too quick and shifty for the Dallas point guard to keep up with. When Parker ran the pick-and-roll against Kidd and Tyson Chandler, Dallas frequently switched, leaving Chandler guarding Parker. Recognizing this, Parker pulled the ball out and the Spurs would clear the lane. This gave Parker the freedom to blow by Chandler and generate points, or pull-up for an 18-foot jump shot.
Nothing surprising happened in the latest installment between these division rivals. Tim Duncan got another double-double. Jason Terry took another cheap shot. And, when it comes to Dirk Nowitzki not playing, the Spurs got another win.