Anytime a team scores 60 points just from the 3-point line, one can assume that the game was most likely a blowout. That was the case on Sunday as the San Antonio Spurs headed into their Christmas celebrations with a 129-91 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks.
7-of-8 of those 3-pointers came from guard Danny Green (25 points) who came in struggling a bit from the three point line. Green’s first half 3-pointers lead to what Spurs forward Tim Duncan (15 points) described as a “snowball” effect for the whole team, as the team finished the night setting a franchise record of 20 three-pointers just 15 days after setting their previous high of 19 three pointers against the Charlotte Bobcats on December 8th.
Sunday’s record setting day was put into words very simply by Spurs guard Tony Parker (18 points, 6 assists), "That's what we do. We move the ball and try to get the best shot possible."
Here’s the rundown of the night in which the Spurs broke an assortment of their own records, while 10 players scored five or more points in the destruction of the Mavericks.
First quarter: Spurs 33, Mavericks 26
Green connected on four three pointers, but the Spurs ended the quarter making 5-of-5 three’s. Dirk Nowitzki made his return, but the Spurs’ offense was moving the ball both in the half court and in the open court to build an 11-point lead at once.
Second quarter: Spurs 64, Mavericks 52
The Mavericks got the lead down to four points early in the quarter, but the Spurs were able to maintain a double-digit lead for the majority of the quarter as their lead got as high as 13 points. The Spurs were shooting 52% at the half, while the Mavericks were shooting 57%. The Spurs were 9-of-14 from three in the first half, Green was 5-of-6 specifically and he had 17 points at half. Nowitzki had seven points by halftime.
Third quarter: Spurs 100, Mavericks 66
How did the Spurs follow up a half in which they made nine 3-pointers? They made seven more in the third quarter to take 34-point lead into the final quarter. The Spurs were shooting 16-of-23 from the outside after three quarters and 55% for the game, while the Mavericks were shooting 48%. The Spurs’ defense held the Mavericks to 14 points, while the offense poured in 36 points. Six players had scored seven or more points going into the fourth.
Fourth quarter: Spurs 129, Mavericks 91
Aside from the starters not going back into the game in the fourth, the Spurs’ bench took over where the starters left off as Nando De Colo (5 assists), Patty Mills (7 points), DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard (17 points, 5 steals), and Matt Bonner (8 points) continued to penetrate the paint and either score or kick out to open shooters as the Spurs made four more 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to set a new franchise record of making 20-of-30 (67%) three’s in the game. The Spurs outscored the Mavericks once more 29-25 in the final quarter.
With the win, the Spurs improve to 21-8 on the season. The team will have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off before returning to the AT&T Center to host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.
"That's not the Dallas Mavericks who we played tonight," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after the game. "We expect them to be a lot better when we see them next time,” followed Spurs forward Stephen Jackson (14 points) after the game.
· Manu the decoy – Though he only scored six points, Manu Ginobili was a key factor in the game as he racked up nine assists. "For us (second unit) it's good because people pay so much attention to him…I got like three open looks from him," said Jackson after the game about Ginobili’s ability to draw in the defense and open shots for other players. Ginobili also set a season high for himself in assists.
· Neal injured – Gary Neal left early in the fourth quarter with a right calf sprain. No other information was released on his injury except that he would not return to the game.
· Green’s new records – Danny Green set a season high in points (25), while he also tied his career high in 3-point field goals made with seven.
· Spurs sticky bandits – The Spurs set a season high in steals with 17 on the night. "We don't create that many turnovers normally,” said Popovich after the game, “so that's a heck of a night for us in steals."
· Big 3rd quarter – The Spurs set a season high in points after three quarters as they had tallied 100 going into the final quarter.
· Franchise record 3-ball – With the Spurs setting a new franchise record of 20 three pointers, they were just one three pointer away from tying the NBA record of 21 three pointers, which was set by the Toronto Raptors back in March 2005.