Mavericks Outlast Spurs

Jalen Brunson came up huge for the Mavericks as they beat the Spurs 109-108 in San Antonio. Brunson scored a season-high 31 points and collected 10 rebounds for the double-double. Luka Doncic added 23 points and 12 boards for Dallas, which improved to 5-and-3. Kristaps Porzingis missed his fifth straight game due to lower back tightness. Dejounte Murray tallied 23 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists for the Spurs in the losing effort. The Spurs will be back in action on the road on Friday night against Orlando.

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich: 

(On the team’s performance…)

“We’re close in all of these games. We’re there, but we hurt ourselves more than the other team hurts us. That’s what we’re trying to get out of. You don’t want to lose games because you didn’t execute. We’re not ready to be a team that’s just flowing in the fourth quarter, that’s going to take some time, but it’s hard in the meantime because no one likes losing. We just have to stick with it, understand what the mistakes are and hope that they reduce as the year goes along so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

(On Spurs guard Devin Vassell…)

“He’s doing that as an improvement for this season. We have to have him shoot threes. He has to be confident, and he looks confident to me. He’s not shy at all.”

(On Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson…)

“Brunson was the killer again. In both games, he was the difference. He plays really smart, tough kid, he’s skilled and in the fourth quarters he got us both times.”

Spurs Guard Dejounte Murray

(On how the team handle’s Jakob being out)

“I mean it's a next man up mentality. We got some guys who have been working. You know you got guys like Thad and Drew and Josh. Guys up and coming, just you know working waiting their turn and that's what I was trying to preach tonight. We hope that Jak gets well and gets back soon but in the NBA it’s just next man up mentality.”

(On Jalen Brunson’s game)

“I’ve know Brunson since high school, we were in the same class, so I’ve known him since he was 16 years old. That's one thing that always stood out with him from back then to now. I think that's why he's an NBA. He’s undersized but he can outsmart guys taller than him. He’s really great at that and he just killed us both games, in Dallas and here tonight. So hats off to him. He’s plays really and really smart and he plays to his best abilities.”

(On being patient and waiting for the wins to come)

“I’m not going to sit here and say it takes time because we have a win now mentality from everybody, the coaches and the players. We just got to get it done. No excuses. No questions. We gotta limit the mistakes starting with myself. Whether I did good or did bad, I always want to be that guy to take the fault for everything. I can be better, we can be better. I think we will get over that hump.

Spurs Forward Drew Eubanks

(On Jakob being out)

“You know Jak has done a lot for us and we are going to miss him out there, but me personally I’ve just got to be more solid, especially on defense. We made some adjustments in the second half and got it going a little bit, but overall being more solid, being more aggressive on offense when I get the ball.”

(On his mentality after these types of games)

“Just gotta move on after each game. Tonight’s gonna hurt on the drive home and when you get back home. But we play again in two days. Have it hurt a little bit, learn form it, adjust. We like each other on and off the court so it’s easy.”

Mavericks Head Coach Jason Kidd

(On Jalen Brunson the last four minutes of the game…)

“I thought Brunson was great from start to finish. He was great last night. Great carryover. Again, we talked about it earlier. He gives us a second ball-handler, also a guy who can put the ball in the basket and is comfortable playing alongside Luka [Dončić]. I think there’s a lot of growth in tonight’s game. Not just from Brunson, but from Luka. Understanding that Brunson was going, so he passed the baton, and Brunson took us home.”

(On having a second point guard working alongside Luka Doncic…) 

“I think it starts with Chemistry and accountability. Trust. Luka trusted [Jalen Brunson] tonight. He trusts his teammates a lot of nights. It’s just there’s nights when he’s going, and he’s going to take us home. Tonight, on a back-to-back, he trusted JB. JB was going, and JB delivered. It just shows the trust that Luka has. He could have easily asked for the ball down the stretch, but he made sure JB got it. JB delivered.”

Mavericks Guard Jalen Brunson

(On the last four minutes of the game…) 

Honestly, my approach was the same. I’m locked in for the entire 48 minutes. That particular time, I was just called on to be a playmaker and be able to make plays down the stretch. My teammates kept giving me confidence, the coaching staff giving me confidence. It’s a credit to them.”

(On his playing dynamic with Luka Dončić…) 

“It’s a credit to Luka. At any given time, any game situation, wherever he is, if he calls for the ball, you’re probably going to give it to him. He just has that type of respect. For him to kind of let me do what I did in the last couple of minutes, just shows that he trusts, not just me, but the team. That’s big time. That gives us a bunch of confidence. That gives, not just me, but everyone confidence and know that he trusts us.”

Mavericks Center Boban Marjanović

(On keeping his mind and body prepared to contribute at any time…) 

“It’s not just me. It’s all of the staff. They do a great job to keep it ready every time I’m playing. Of course, I want to work, but the staff does a great job of, ‘hey, let’s go do this, let’s go to weights, let’s go running, let’s go up and down, let’s go one-on-one, let’s go some defense.’ Everything. They make you ready to go. Of course, it’s not the same or realistic like a game.”

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