The Dallas Mavericks(42-30) ended the regular season with a 136-121 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves(23-49) at Target Center on Sunday night.
Now, it’s on to the playoffs for the Mavericks. Dallas(42-30) was the fifth seed coming into Sunday night, and after finishing in a three-way tie with the Lakers(42-30) and Blazers(42-30), the Mavericks remained at five due to winning the Southwest Division.
Dallas will now get a rematch against the fourth-seeded Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Last season, these two teams battled it out in the bubble, with the Clippers winning 4-2 in their first-round series.
In that series, there was a lot of physical play, trash-talking, and very competitive basketball, and according to Luka Doncic, it was a lot of fun.
“It’s a great matchup,” Doncic said about the Clippers after the loss to Minnesota. “They(Clippers) have a helluva team, and it’s going to be tough to beat them, but it’s a helluva matchup…
“It was fun to play. I’m not going to lie. It was fun. A lot of trash talking, a lot of hard plays, but it was fun. That’s what basketball is about. It was fun.”
Kristaps Porzingis, who missed most of the series against the Clippers last season due to a knee injury, is looking forward to the challenge of playing Los Angeles.
“We look forward to competing against them again,” Porzingis said. “They’re a more experienced team than us, have some guys that have went all the way and won it all. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, and we are looking forward to it.”
This will be a great challenge for Dallas. Los Angeles was built to win this season, and with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers have two legit top-20 players in the NBA. Although Dallas won the season series 2-1 against the Clippers, Los Angeles is the better team on paper, but Dallas appears to be better prepared to compete with the Clippers this time around.