Dallas – Luka Doncic had 39 points, 11 rebounds and his 16th technical foul of the season for the Dallas Mavericks, who will open the playoffs at home for the first time since 2011 after their 128-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
The Mavericks will play their regular-season finale Sunday without Doncic unless the technical foul is nullified by the NBA Bureau. If confirmed, his 16th of the season will mean an automatic one-game suspension.
“I was technically asked why that’s not a foul … it is,” said Doncic, who was undercut and crushed by Portland’s Elijah Hughes when he made a shot from outside of midfield late in the first quarter. “If you ask me, I think it should be 100 percent undone because it wasn’t tech. No warning, no nothing. I just asked.”
Team boss Tony Brothers, who issued the tech, told a pool reporter after the game that Doncic wouldn’t stop complaining.
“He started complaining to each of the officers. When I went to the table, he was 15 feet in the backcourt and he was still complaining, so he got a technique because he was complaining all the time,” Brothers said.
Dwight Powell added 18 points, Dorian Finney-Smith 15 and Spencer Dinwiddie 14 for the Mavericks (51-30), who are seeded in the top four in the Western Conference. None of the Mavs’ top four scorers played after the third quarter.
Dallas will open a first-round playoff series at home for the first time since its 2011 NBA championship season. That was when Jason Kidd, now the head coach, was the point guard. Since then, they have lost their last six playoff games in the first round.
There’s still a chance Dallas could move up to third as they hold the tiebreaker over Golden State (51-29), who still have games in San Antonio and New Orleans.
Drew Eubanks had 18 points and Ben McLemore 14 for the Trail Blazers (27-54), who were consistently behind and lost their 10th straight game. They dropped a total of 20 out of 22.
“I thought we played hard for the most part. We just couldn’t shoot,” said Chauncey Billups, first-year coach of the Blazers. “Against this team you have to keep up with the goals.”
After taking a backcourt pass with 2.6 seconds left in the first quarter, Doncic moved past Hughes, who reached in and then appeared to stumble. That led to contact with Doncic, who was then airborne and fell on his butt while the shot wasn’t good.
As soon as he fell, Doncic stretched out both arms and pleaded to the referee closest to him. Then he got up and went to talk to the brothers.
Kidd said he spoke to his assistant coaches after the quarter when he was told Doncic had been given a tech.
“Everybody said he didn’t swear so I can just go ahead with what they said but that’s between Tony and him so we’ll see what the league says,” Kidd said. “If he can play (Sunday) he plays, if he can he makes the playoffs, starts with a new board. It’s not a big deal.”
Brothers confirmed there was no obscenity.
Doncic already had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists at this point as the 36-13 lead at the end of the first quarter of this season was the Mavericks’ widest. Powell had 11 points in the quarter.
After going 1-of-7 with 3 points before halftime, Doncic shot 6-of-7 from beyond the arc in a 25-point breakout in the third quarter that could potentially be his last before the playoffs.
“Honestly I’m tired, it’s been a long year,” Doncic said with a laugh when asked about the possibility of an unexpected Sunday off. “That’s what it’s about, the playoffs, I’ll be ready to go.”
Trail Blazers: Portland has lost its last six away games. The Trail Blazers, who lost in New Orleans Thursday night, finished Game 2 6-9 1-5 in those games on the road.
Mavericks: Brothers were also the primary umpire exactly a week earlier when the Mavericks lost in Washington, and Kidd was ejected when called out for two technical fouls in the fourth quarter. After that game, Kidd said the Brothers had now sacked him as a player and as a coach. Kidd said at the time, “What I said to him was, ‘Whose ball is it?’ And unfortunately he took it personally and kicked me out. It happens.”
Trail Blazers: Finish the season Sunday night at home against Utah, who finishes 3-0 with Portland this season.
Mavericks: Play their regular season finale Sunday night at home against San Antonio.
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https://www.local10.com/sports/2022/04/09/doncic-has-39-points-11-rebounds-16th-tech-in-mavs-win/ Doncic has 39 points, 11 rebounds, 16th tech in Mavs’ win