The San Antonio Spurs have hit a rough patch recently, dropping eight of their last 10 coming into Sunday, pushing them down to ninth in the Western Conference at 24-26, two games back of the Grizzlies in eighth.
The Spurs made the trek across Texas to face the in-state rival Mavs in Dallas on Sunday needing a win to end a five-game skid and keep themselves from slipping closer to the 10-seeded Warriors, and were able to do so thanks to some heroics from DeMar DeRozan. The star guard had 33 points, eight assists, and five rebounds to lead the Spurs on Sunday, outdueling Luka Doncic (29 points, seven assists, three rebounds) down the stretch.
It was a back-and-forth affair late, with Doncic tying the game with 20 seconds to play after driving for a floater off a Mavs offensive rebound.
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DeRozan had the answer on the other end, with a filthy stepback from the midrange that found the bottom of the net and gave San Antonio a 119-117 lead with a half second to play.
It is vintage DeRozan, who has been terrific all season for the Spurs and is a big reason why they’re still in the hunt for the play-in out West. Doncic was pushed out near midcourt on the Mavs desperation attempt, and had his heave fall well short of the basket as the Spurs snuck out of Dallas with a much-needed victory.