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NBA: Mavericks top Spurs, but settle for West 4th seed


luka doncic mavericks nba

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after performing a slam dunk during the second half of the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the American Air Center on April 10, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. Tim Heitman / Getty Images / AFP

Luka Doncic scored 26 points despite being on the bench for the entire fourth half, helping the Dallas Mavericks to a 130-120 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday on the final day of the NBA season.

The Mavericks’ win proved unimportant after Golden State overcame New Orleans on Sunday to claim the third seed in the West. Dallas (52-30) should have climbed to third with a win and a loss to Golden State – the Mavericks are fourth instead and will face fifth seed Utah in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas opened up a game that was tied 59-59 at halftime and 66-66 with 8:50 to play in the third with Dorian Finney-Smith scoring all of his 16 points in the inning and Jalen Brunson hit 10, giving the Mavericks a 97-82 lead in the final 12 minutes.

The Spurs (34-48) had few games in the finals of the season after picking up the 10th seed in the West and a spot in the play-in tournament in New Orleans on Wednesday. The winner of the San Antonio-New Orleans game will face the loser of the Minnesota-Los Angeles Clippers game to see who will face top seed Phoenix in the first round of the knockout stages.

Jalen Brunson added 18 points for the Mavericks, Theo Pinson had 16 and Dwight Powell scored 12 for Dallas, which would bring a four-game winning streak after the season.

Keldon Johnson leads the Spurs with 24 points after the loss, with Josh Richardson scoring 18, Dejounte Murray adding 17, Devin Vassell contributing 15, and Jakob Poeltl and Tre Jones scoring 12 each. San Antonio dropped three games in a row entering the knockout round.

Murray is back after missing the past five games with an upper respiratory illness.

Spurs led 29-28 at the end of the first quarter. The game flipped over into the second stage with eight change of the lead and no team earned more than a four-point advantage. Doncic had 11 points in this time, including the jumper with 47.6 seconds left to end the game 59-59 at halftime.

Doncic led all scorers in the half with 18 points, while Vassell and Johnson edged Spurs with 13 and 10, respectively.

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