DALLAS (AP) — 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 following a 128-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Friday night.
The Mavericks will play their regular-season finale on Sunday without Doncic unless the technical foul is rescinded by the NBA office. If confirmed, his 16th of the season means an automatic one-game suspension.
“I got a tech asking how that’s not a foul … that’s all,” said Doncic, who was undercut and brought down by Portland’s Elijah Hughes when taking a shot from beyond halfcourt late in the game. first quarter. “If you ask me, I think it should be 100 percent terminated, because it was not a technology. No notice, no nothing. Just asking.”
Crew chief Tony Brothers, who issued the technology, told a reporter from the pool after the game that Doncic wouldn’t stop complaining.
“He started complaining to each of the officials. When he was walking to the table, he was 15 feet back court and still complaining, so he got a technical for continuously complaining,” Brothers said.
Dwight Powell added 18 points, Dorian Finney-Smith 15 and Spencer Dinwiddie 14 for the Mavericks (51-30), who are guaranteed a top-four spot in the Western Conference. None of the Mavs’ four leading 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’s when Jason Kidd, now the head coach, was the point guard. They have lost first-round series in their last six playoff appearances since then.
There’s still a chance Dallas moves up to the third seed, as it holds the tiebreaker over Golden State (51-29), which has games left in San Antonio and New Orleans.
Drew Eubanks had 18 points and Ben McLemore 14 for the Trail Blazers (27-54), who trailed and lost their 10th straight game. They have lost 20 of 22 overall.
“I thought we played hard for the most part. We just couldn’t make shots,” Blazers first-year coach Chauncey Billups said. “Against this team, you have to keep up with the pace of the scoreboard.”
After taking a tackle pass in the backcourt with 2.6 seconds left in the first quarter, Doncic passed by Hughes, who ducked in and then appeared to stumble. That led to contact with Doncic, who was then airborne and landed on his butt as the shot failed him.
As soon as he went down, Doncic extended both arms and pleaded his case to the referee closest to him. He then got up and went to talk to the brothers.
Kidd said he was talking to his assistant coaches after the quarter when they told him Doncic had been technically hit.
“Everyone said he didn’t swear, so that’s all I can say, but that’s between Tony and himself, so we’ll see what the league says,” Kidd said. “If he can play (Sunday), he plays, if he can, he goes to the playoffs, he starts with a new slate. It is not a big thing.”
The brothers confirmed that there was no profanity.
Doncic already had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists at the time, when the Mavericks’ 36-13 lead was the biggest at the end of the first quarter this season. Powell had 11 points in the quarter.
After going 1-for-7 on 3-pointers before halftime, Doncic shot 6-for-7 from beyond the arc in a 25-point explosion in the third quarter that may 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 day off on Sunday. “This is what it’s all about, the playoffs, I’ll be ready to go.”
Trail Blazers: Portland has lost its last six games on the road. The Trail Blazers, who lost at New Orleans on Thursday night, went 6-9 in the second straight game, going 1-5 in those games on the road.
Mavericks: Brothers was also the umpire exactly a week earlier when the Mavericks lost in Washington, and Kidd was ejected when he drew two technical fouls in the fourth quarter. After that game, Kidd said that the Brothers have now fired him as a player and as a coach. Kidd then said: “What I said to him was, ‘Whose ball is it?’ And he took it personally, unfortunately, and he kicked me out. Happens.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Trail Blazers: Close out the season at home on Sunday night against Utah, which is 3-0 this season against Portland.
Mavericks: Play their regular season finale at home against San Antonio on Sunday night.
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