Mavericks defeat Spurs despite Leonard's return
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 13, 2017 11:47 AM
FILE - MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Harrison Barnes #40 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after getting the game winning shot against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 22, 2017 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) — J.J. Barea scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled the season debut of San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard, beating the Spurs 95-89 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Leonard missed the first 27 games because of right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee. He wasn’t around in the fourth quarter when Barea finished a rally that he started by scoring eight points in the final 1:49 of the third.
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points while Yogi Ferrell and Wesley Mathews had 16 apiece as the Mavericks ended a five-game losing streak at home to the Spurs, who had a four-game winning streak stopped for the third time this season.
Barea led the Mavericks with six assists, teaming up with alley-oop dunk partner Dwight Powell a couple of times as Powell finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Rudy Gay scored 21 for the Spurs, who shot 29 percent while getting outscored 28-20 in the fourth quarter.
Leonard, who had 13 points, went to the locker room late in the third quarter, with no immediate word on whether he had hit the unspecified minutes restriction coach Gregg Popovich said would be in place. He played 16 minutes, roughly the first five minutes in each of the first three quarters.
The Spurs called a timeout before subbing him out the final time, after he had tipped a loose ball a couple of times to keep an offensive rebound alive and hit a short jumper. He had six rebounds, an assist and a block.
Leonard made his first three shots and scored six of San Antonio’s first eight points.
San Antonio has had a similar minutes restriction on guard Tony Parker, who played more than 20 minutes for the first time in seven games since returning from surgery for a ruptured quadriceps tendon.
The 35-year-old Parker had six points on 3-of-9 shooting as the Spurs lost for the first time with him in the lineup. Parker has skipped two games since returning.
Spurs: Bryn Forbes banked in a three-pointer over Dirk Nowitzki at the first-half buzzer to get the Spurs within 46-44. ... Aldridge, Gay and Leonard were the only Spurs in double figures. Patty Mills was next with eight. ... C Pau Gasol went scoreless on just two shots with nine rebounds.
Mavericks: Rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. missed his third straight game with a left hip strain and won’t play on the upcoming two-game road trip. ... Nowitzki was 1-of-8 from the field and finished with six points.
Spurs: At Houston on Friday before the final matchup with Dallas this season on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).
Mavericks: At Golden State on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).