DeRozan had 34 points and nine assists and San Antonio withstood a 31-point outburst by Dallas rookie Luka Doncic in a 113-108 overtime victory over the Mavericks on Monday night.
“Hes a really good player and he loves those moments,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of DeRozan. “Hes not afraid of failure. You know, Michael (Jordan) didnt make every shot at the end of the game, but there are very, very few people who want to be in that position all the time and (DeRozans) one of those people who loves it. Its good to have that.”
Popovich said Aldridge and Gay were his closers last season, but DeRozan has given the Spurs another option, and they needed it against Doncic.
Dallas 6-foot-7 wing was 11 for 18 from the field in scoring a season high.
“Hes a very good player,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He certainly doesnt look surprised that this is happening.”
DeRozan and Doncic battled in the final minutes of regulation and into overtime in a game that included 10 lead changes and 12 ties.
DeRozan scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Doncic had 10 points in the same span.
DeRozan made two free throws to give the Spurs a 102-101 lead with 39.1 seconds left in regulation. Doncic missed a driving layup against Aldridge, and DeRozan missed a jumper in the lane. Dennis Smith Jr. was fouled by DeRozan with 1.6 seconds remaining. The Mavericks point guard made the first free throw, tying the game at 102-all, and missed the second. DeRozan remained sprawled face-first on the court for a few seconds after missing a jumper inside the 3-point line as regulation expired.
“I was mad at myself that I missed,” DeRozan said. “But like I said, if I got the opportunity again, I wasnt going to miss a big shot later in the game, and I didnt.”
It was one of the few times DeRozan failed to come through on either offense or defense for the Spurs. DeRozan, who was acquired in the offseason from Toronto for Kawhi Leonard, was 12 for 21 from the field and had six rebounds and three steals.
With about seven minutes remaining in regulation, DeRozan stole the ball from Wes Matthews, sprinted down court and backed up Matthews before hitting a turnaround, fadeaway jumper from 12 feet for an 89-83 lead.
“I think we have a bunch of guys that are competitive and have the same goal, thats to win,” Aldridge said. “I feel like thats not something hard to ask. I feel like every guy is trying to do what they can to make wins.”
Smith finished with 22 points for Dallas.
Mavericks: Dallas extended its franchise record to 189 straight games with at least five 3-pointers. The streak began March 9, 2016. …. DeAndre Jordan had 18 rebounds, but was held to eight points, marking the first time he has not had a double-double this season.
Spurs: DeRozan has led the Spurs in scoring in all but one game this season. … San Antonio matched a season low by holding Dallas to 18 points in the opening quarter. The Spurs also held the Lakers to 18 points in the final quarter of Saturdays victory.
Doncic played 40 minutes, including 23 in the second half and overtime, despite suffering from a strained back that put his status in question.
“So-so, but Im not going to stop,” Doncic said when asked how his back was.
Doncic also tweaked his left ankle on a drive late in overtime, but remained in the game.
The Mavericks flew for the seventh straight night following Mondays loss, their fifth game in seven days. Dallas, which has played three road games since Oct. 22, is 1-4 in that stretch.
“Were in the middle of just a grind week with all this travel,” Carlisle said. “To hang in there and play like we did tonight is a real credit to them.”
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN
Aldridge was astounded to learn Gay has three consecutive double-doubles for the first time in his career.
“First time in his career,” Aldridge shouted with Gay nearby. “What have you been doing all these years?”
Gay chuckled and said its all about opportunity.
“This year I dont have Dejounte (Murray) and L.A. stealing my rebounds,” Gay said. “Now I can get a double-double every night.”
Mavericks: At Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Spurs: At Phoenix on Wednesday.