PHOENIX (AP) – Coach Jason Kidd made it clear during an interview before the 7th game of the Western Conference semifinals that no matter what happened on Sunday night, the Dallas Mavericks should consider this season a success.
In a few hours he became even more special.
Luka Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinvidi added 30, and the Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-90 in the 7th game, which will be remembered for the dominance of the Mavericks and the disappearance of the Suns.
“It’s amazing,” Doncic said after the game. “I don’t know what to say.”
Now the Mouse are reaching the Western Conference finals for the fifth time in the franchise’s history and for the first time since 2011. They are going to meet the Golden State Warriors in their first game on Wednesday.
This is another challenge for the Mavericks: The Warriors have passed combat tests and still have the core of a dynasty that includes Stephen Curry, Clay Thompson and Draymand Green.
Again, Dallas just beat the NBA’s best team away in the regular season by 33 points in Game 7.
At this point, everything seems possible.
“Why would you want to put a ceiling on someone or a team?” Said Kidd. “We believe. It showed today. We have to go through this journey. I hate it when we label or close something.
“We don’t know how far it can go.”
It was a stellar race for the Mavericks, which changed in the middle of the season after the addition of Dinwidi and Davis Bertans to the trade, which sent 7-foot 3rd Christophe Porzingis to the Wizards. Dallas came out of the trade with a smaller size but also with more shooting.
On Sunday, Dinviddi was spectacular behind the bench, making 11 of 15 shots, including 5 of 7 three-pointers. Doncic can be the team’s undisputed star – he averages more than 31 points per game in these playoffs – but it’s always nice to have help.
Guys like Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber, provided this. On Sunday, Branson scored 24 points and is averaging nearly 23 points per game in the playoffs. Kidd, who is working as a team coach for the first season, has done his best to make everything work at the perfect time.
“We will work on ourselves,” said Dinwidi. “We look forward to leaving for Bay. This is the final of the Western Conference. This is what you dream of.”
The Mavericks were an attacking machine in the 7th game, shooting 57% off the field and 49% from a 3-point distance. These numbers can be hard to reach every night, but there is no doubt that if this Mavs team is running, they have a pretty good chance against any opponent.
Golden State is really good and has titles that confirm that. Dallas is also good.
“We’re still learning from each other, we’re still finding ways to get better,” Kidd said. “We play with a very special team at Warriors when you talk about dynasties and one of the best coaches who ever did that.
“We’ll celebrate this, enjoy it today, and then close the book and get ready for Golden State.”