Kawhi Leonard made his season debut with San Antonio on Tuesday night, but his Spurs fell to the Dallas Mavericks 95-89 at American Airlines Center.

Kawhi Leonard return, Spurs vs. Mavericks score

The star forward missed the first 27 games with a right quadriceps injury, and though he scored 13 points on Tuesday, J.J. Barea and his squad exploded in the second half to earn the victory.

“I understand the situation that I’m in and we’re thinking about down the road,” said Leonard, who headed to the locker room late in the third quarter. He scored all his points in 16 minutes.

The Spurs (19-9, 3rd in Western Conference) were coming off a four-game winning streak.

Barea scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and alley-oop dunk partner Dwight Powell added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Leonard last played in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals last season, when he injured his left ankle in what eventually became a sweep for Golden State en route to their second NBA title in three years.

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.

”We have been waiting for a game like this where we go out and play a full 48-minute game,” said Ferrell, who had a career-high eight rebounds. ”We’ve had some good games this season, but we put it all together tonight.”

LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Rudy Gay added 21 points for San Antonio, which shot 29 percent.

The Spurs play at Houston on Friday before their final matchup with Dallas this season on Saturday. The Mavericks visit Golden State on Thursday.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich needs seven more victories to pass George Karl (1,175) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time list.

MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 22: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs pumps his fist after making a three point shot against the Memphis Grizzlies in game four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 22, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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