The Western Conference is no joke. From the race to the top seed between the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder, to the fight to stay out of the play-in tournament, everything is a bloodbath for title hopefuls.

A big reason behind this is the relative health that many of the West’s top stars have seen. I mean, even Kawhi Leonard has already played 65 games with 11 left to go for the LA Clippers.

With the epic battle for positioning comes the deep need for a strong finish to the season, and the Dallas Mavericks are one team that are certainly pushing toward such a conclusion. They have now won five games in a row and are 9-1 over their last 10 games with their latest win being one of the most important of the season.

Tied at 42-29 with the Sacramento Kings and sitting in seventh due to a tiebreaker, the Mavericks went to Sacramento and completely embarrassed the Kings in a 132-96 victory. Sure, the Kings were on the second night of a back-to-back, but it still feels like only one team showed up to a must-win. 


Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving led the way with a combined 52 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals. They also shot 20 of 37 from the field including 8 of 17 from beyond the arc. More surpising, though, is that the pair only shot a total of six free throws.

Doncic did not mince his words when it came to praise for Irving after the game.

Tim Hardaway Jr. also had a fantastic all-around outing off the bench with 22 points, three rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block. PJ Washington also had an effective 14 points and 13 rebounds.

We’ve long wondered what might happen if Doncic and Irving could figure out how to play together. We’re starting to get an answer to this question and it’s a scary proposition for the rest of the West. It’s sure to be an epic conclusion to the season and the Mavericks are giving themselves the best possible chance of avoiding the play-ins.