DALLAS — The start of tonight’s Dallas Mavericks game was delayed due to a leak in the American Airlines Center roof that allowed water to drop onto the playing surface. Given what occurred soon after the repairs were made and the contest was allowed to start, that delay was a harbinger of things to come, as Dallas splashed shots from all over the court for a runaway victory.
Luka Doncic scored 28 points while new running mate Kyrie Irving chipped in with 23 points as the Mavericks scored a season high during their 142-116 win over the San Antonio Spurs in the first game for both after the All-Star Break. Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to also score over 20, scoring 22 points and making six of Dallas’ 22 three-pointers on the evening.
“I think after our practice yesterday, it was great carry-over with the energy and the spirit. Guys were connected,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said. “We talked about it before, just being unselfish. There are going to be some guys that their minutes come down as we get healthy here. That’s what happens when you have a deep team, and I thought the guys did a great job tonight.”
Doncic was the only Maverick who played at least 30 minutes, and he hit that number on the nose. Along with his 28 points, Doncic had seven rebounds and 10 assists while turning the ball over only once. Though Doncic was off from beyond the arc, going 1-for-6 from there, he set up a number of open threes, and Dallas was lethal with those perimeter shots all evening. After a 34-point first quarter to take a seven-point lead after 12 minutes, the Mavericks scored 40 points in the second quarter and 43 in the fourth to salt the game away.
Overall, Dallas shot 56.1 percent from the field (46-for-82) and its 22 makes from three came on 42 attempts (52.4 percent from beyond the arc).
Rookie Malakai Branham led the Spurs with 23 points while Keldon Johnson had 22 as the Spurs lost their franchise-record 15th consecutive game.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Thursday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 25 pictures in total.