Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks win over Spurs: 4. Clutch struggles return
The Mavs offense was rolling all night. They had 37 points in the first quarter and topped 100 with 10:40 left in the fourth. Dallas looked to have the game clinched as Luka Doncic sank a driving lay-in with 4:40 remaining. They were up by nine and had not trailed since the first quarter.
The Mavericks offense suddenly went ice cold. The Spurs scored eight straight points and had the lead down to one point with one minute left in the game. Fans were having flashbacks of last season’s clutch time woes and feared it would cost the Mavs another victory.
Luka Doncic had other ideas. He drove into the lane and pulled Dirk Nowitzki’s patented move from his bag of tricks.
The Mavericks got a stop on the other end as Doncic stayed in attack mode and kicked out to a wide open Jalen Brunson for the game-sealing 3-pointer.
The Dallas Mavericks showed their growth. Last season, that game would have slipped away. Luka Doncic kept the team together and found a way to will the Mavs to victory. He will eventually become one of the league’s most feared players in the clutch. Jan. 22 was another important step in that process.
Next: No. 3