May 20, 2024

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Dallas Mavericks secure Southwest Division title after beating Miami Heat

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MAVS RULE. The Dallas Mavericks, headlined by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, eke out a 111-92 win over the Miami Heat to secure the Southwest Division title on Wednesday night (Thursday, April 11, in the Philippines). DALLAS MAVERICKS PHOTO

The Dallas Mavericks cruised to a commanding 111-92 victory over the Miami Heat, securing the Southwest Division title behind stellar performances from Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Doncic was in prime form, tallying 29 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists, narrowly missing out on another triple-double. Irving contributed 25 points, helping the Mavericks clinch their 16th win in the last 18 games.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd expressed satisfaction with the team reaching one of their season’s goals, noting it as a positive achievement for the team.

Dallas (50-30) will now prepare to face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, marking the third opening-round matchup between these teams in the last four seasons.

Irving earned a significant bonus by appearing in at least 50 games and helping Dallas reach the 50-win mark. 

Irving emphasized that while there is more work to be done and the team is still in the early stages, they recognize the importance of celebrating incremental achievements along the way.

Tyler Herro led the Heat with 21 points, but Miami struggled to contain the Mavericks’ offensive onslaught. Kevin Love added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who faced the daunting prospect of navigating the play-in tournament to secure a postseason berth.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledged the challenges his team faced after the disappointing loss. He acknowledged that the nature of the league has a way of humbling teams and individuals.

Miami’s hopes of securing a higher seed in the Eastern Conference standings were dashed, as they fell to 20-19 at home for the season. The Heat now face a critical stretch of games to avoid a play-in scenario.

Heat center Bam Adebayo acknowledged that the team lacked the necessary intensity at the start and emphasized the need for improvement moving forward.

The Mavericks dominated from the outset, building a substantial lead that Miami could not overcome despite occasional rallies. Miami trailed by as many as 25 points in the first half, highlighting the Mavericks’ dominance on both ends of the floor.

Daniel Gafford continued his impressive shooting streak, going 6 for 6 from the field and extending his streak of consecutive made shots to 22. Kidd praised Gafford’s performance, underscoring his impact on the team’s success.

“It’s amazing,” Kidd exclaimed, highlighting the collective effort that propelled the Mavericks to claim the Southwest Division title.

With momentum on their side, Dallas looks ahead to the playoffs with confidence, aiming to build on their recent success and make a deep postseason run. The Mavericks’ potent combination of offensive firepower and defensive prowess makes them a formidable opponent as they gear up for playoff action.

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