Brunson, Doncic spark rally as Mavericks top Spurs, 109-108

Nov 3, 2021, 8:23 AM | Updated: 9:30 pm

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, right, drives against San Antonio Spurs' Devin Vassell during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jalen Brunson had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Luka Donic had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks rallied past the San Antonio Spurs 109-108 Wednesday night.

Coming off a 125-110 loss to Miami on Tuesday, Dallas outscored San Antonio 28-25 in the final quarter to avoid its third loss in four games.

“You can always use the excuse that you’re tired,” Brunson said. “It’s back-to-back. You’ve got another game tomorrow or whenever. You’ve got to fight through it. Teams that can win games like this can win games when it counts past April.”

Dallas was able to do so against a young San Antonio roster that is eager to push the pace.

Dejounte Murray scored 23 points and Devin Vassell had a season-high 21 for the Spurs, who have lost six of seven since a season-opening victory.

Dallas turned the momentum against San Antonio, especially in the final quarter.

“Being able to play with pace, getting into the offense a little bit quicker gave us the advantage,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “On a back-to-back, sometimes that’s hard to do, but I thought the guys looked to score after the steal.”

Brunson gave Dallas a 101-96 lead with 3 minutes remaining by scoring five points in 32 seconds, including a three-point play. After the Spurs closed to 103-102, Brunson hit a step-back, 13-foot jumper and two free throws in the final 30 seconds.

“He did amazing,” Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic said. “Seemed I think everybody did a great, great job. We played last night and we were (gasping) like tough game, fighting.”

The lead swelled to 10 points before Brunson rallied the Mavericks. He had seven points, five rebounds and an assist in the third quarter.

“Brunson was a killer again,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “In both games, he was the difference. He plays really smart, is a tough kid, he is skilled, and in the fourth quarter, he got us both times.”

Dallas clinched its three-game set against San Antonio, also defeating the visiting Spurs 104-99 on Oct. 28.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 23 points for Dallas.

The Mavs were without Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.

San Antonio was without starting center Jakob Poeltl, who missed the game due to the league’s health and safety protocols. There was no update given on his status.


After Lonnie Walker’s 3-pointer cut Dallas’ lead to 109-108 with 4.1 seconds, the Spurs regained possession with 2.7 seconds left. They failed to attempt a shot, however, as the inbound pass from Keldon Johnson nearly sailed out of bounds. Murray tipped the ball to keep in play long enough for time to expire.

Marjanovic was guarding the inbound, forcing Johnson to throw the ball high over the reach of the 7-foot-4 center.

Marjanovic said he learned how to defend the inbound pass as a rookie playing for the Spurs in 2016.

“Don’t cross this line and put your arms up in the air,” Marjanovic said. “I learned from here. I guess I’ve become a professional standing in front of the inbounder.”


Mavericks: Porzingis missed his fifth straight game with lower back tightness. Kidd said Porzingis is improving and he hopes the Mavs center will play Saturday against Boston. Kleber sat out with a strained left oblique. … F Reggie Bullock did not play in the second half after sustaining a facial injury late in the second quarter. Bullock was holding his nose after getting hit in the face against a screen on defense. No foul was called. Bullock walked to the sideline but remained in the game to close the half.

Spurs: San Antonio closes its three-game season series against Dallas at home on Nov. 12. … C Jock Landale did not play two days after becoming the first Spurs player since Jack Haley in 1995 with double-digit scoring in five minutes. Landale had 10 points Monday in a 131-118 loss at Indiana. … Rookie Josh Primo returned to the Spurs after a brieft stint with the team’s G League affiliate in Austin. Primo only practiced with the team as Austin’s season-opener is Friday against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.


Mavericks: Host Boston on Saturday.

Spurs: At Orlando on Friday.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker rushes against the Kansas City Chiefs during t...
Associated Press

Walker, Hutchinson meet again, this time with Jags, Lions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson will always be compared to one another. Same class. Same position. Same lofty expectations. The top two picks in the 2022 NFL draft will be on the same field for the first time as pros when Detroit hosts Jacksonville on Sunday, a matchup of 4-7 teams […]
1 day ago
A member of the AlKuwari family shows the trophy after winning the first prize at the Mzayen World ...
Associated Press

Camel pageant among attractions on World Cup sidelines

ASH-SHHANIYA, Qatar (AP) — Like all good pageant contestants, Nazaa’a displayed not only dazzling beauty but also poise and grace. She batted her eyelashes and flashed a toothy smile for the television cameras at the Mzayen World Cup, a pageant held in the Qatari desert about 15 miles (25 kilometers) away from Doha and soccer’s […]
1 day ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football practice at the te...
Associated Press

Watson has better shot winning with Browns than fixing image

Deshaun Watson has a better chance of leading the Cleveland Browns to their first Super Bowl title than rebuilding his public image. The disgraced quarterback wouldn’t address his 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct or his league-mandated therapy sessions on Thursday in his first comments since returning to the Browns. “I have been advised to stay […]
1 day ago
Japan's Kaoru Mitoma appears to have the ball over the line before crossing it for a goal during th...
Associated Press

AP photo catches key moment before Japan’s World Cup goal

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — From most angles, it looked like the ball went out of play just before Japan scored its winning goal in the 2-1 victory against Spain in the World Cup. Associated Press photographer Petr David Josek took a photo from above that appears to support the referee’s decision to allow it. Josek’s […]
1 day ago
Belgium's Leandro Trossard, left, and Croatia's Josko Gvardiol fight for the ball during the World ...
Associated Press

‘Little Pep’ Gvardiol coming up big for Croatia at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For 90 minutes, the hulking, masked mass that is Josko Gvardiol kept Belgium’s big-name strikers at bay with timely tackles — none bigger than his stop on Romelu Lukaku two minutes into stoppage time. Then the 20-year-old Croat who is fast becoming the most sought-after center back in Europe went over […]
1 day ago
Christian Pulisic of the United States attends a press conference before a training session at Al-G...
Associated Press

US star Pulisic on track to play against Dutch in World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic is on track to play for the United States in its World Cup round of 16 match against the Netherlands on Saturday, Pulisic left Tuesday’s final group stage match against Iran at halftime after bruising his pelvic bone in a collision with the goalkeeper while scoring in the 38th […]
1 day ago
Brunson, Doncic spark rally as Mavericks top Spurs, 109-108