Doncic scores 51 points, Mavs beat Spurs for 6th straight

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Doncic scores 51 Mavs Spurs
Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) drives against San Antonio Spurs' Jakob Poeltl during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 51 points and the Dallas Mavericks escaped with a 126-125 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night for their sixth straight victory.

Christian Wood added 25 points in Dallas’ fifth straight victory over San Antonio.

Keldon Johnson had 30 points for Sam Antonio, Jeremy Sochan added 20 and Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 15 rebounds.

After leading by 17 points, the Mavericks had to scramble in the final minute.

San Antonio guard Tre Jones was fouled by Dallas forward Davis Bertans after Jones intentionally missed the second of two free throws with the Spurs trailing 126-124. Jones then made the first free throw, but missed the second.

Jones finished with 18 points.

Doncic scores 51 Mavs Spurs

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich jokingly vowed that Doncic would be held under 50 points. The Mavericks star almost played along.

Doncic was stuck on 49 points for half the fourth quarter but made two free throws with 4.5 seconds to reach 50 points for the fourth time in his career

The 6-foot-7 forward had his third 50-point outing in his past five games, including 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists Tuesday night in an overtime victory over New York.

Doncic dominated San Antonio with his usual array of step-back, mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers and free throws. He was 18 for 28 from the field.

Doncic had 22 points in the first quarter along with an assist, accounting for all but eight of the Mavericks’ points in the opening period.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Dallas is 6-11 on the road. … Bertans was honored prior to the game as part of the Spurs’ 50th anniversary celebration. Bertans spent his first three seasons in the NBA with San Antonio before being traded to Washington in 2019.

Spurs: Johnson has scored 30 points in five games this season and eight in his career. … G Devin Vassell missed his second straight game with a sore left knee he suffered Tuesday at Oklahoma City. Vassell has missed seven games this season. … Sochan has scored double-figures in 15 games this season, the most by a Spurs rookie since Kawhi Leonard had 25 in 2012.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At Houston on Monday night.

Spurs: At Brooklyn on Monday night.