Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic were in their arms after the end of the game with a wide grin.
The Dallas Mavericks around the German international Maxi Kleber had just dominated the Phoenix Suns in the decisive seventh game of the second NBA playoff round with 123:90 and had thus moved into the Western Conference Finals of the North American basketball profile-for the first time since 2011 when Nowitzki led the Mavs to the championship.
“What did I tell you?!”, Nowitzki joked with some other Mavs players in the field. The German basketball legend followed the Mavericks’ away game in Phoenix on site and experienced a 30-point lead of the MAVS at halftime.
“‘Let’s go Mavs’ speaking choirs can be heard here,” wrote a surprised Nowitzki on Twitter about the viewer resonance in the home venue of the Suns, where many people said goodbye or bought their own team prematurely.
Nowitzki as motivation
Doncic was happy to have won the victory in front of Novitzki. “If you see Dirk on the edge of the field at an away game, then you give you confidence,” said Doncic at the press conference. The construction player towered over with 35 points – already at half -time he had achieved as many with 27 points as the entire Suns team.
“He is Luka. He loves this stage. The bigger she gets, the better he plays. He gave the tone,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd his protégé. “I like these games: there is pressure, we were the outsider, but we all believed in it,” said the Slovenian Doncic. Over the entire playoff series against the Suns, he was the defining player with an average of 32.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
“I can’t get the smile out of my face anymore,” said Doncic joyfully about the victory and progress. In the first six games of the playoff series, the home team had always won before the Mavs went out of parquet in the decisive seventh game. “The team was incredible. I can’t remember when an away team performed such a performance in a seventh game,” added the Mavericks star and legitimate successor Nowitzkis.
In the east, the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks at home with 109: 80 (48:43) and thus threw the defending champion out of the playoffs. The Celtics were most recently in the 2019/20 season in the Conference Finals. The hosts sank 22 threes as a team-an NBA record for a seventh playoff game. Grant Williams stood out – he was successful seven times from the outside. Theis stayed without points in six -minute deployment time, but got three rebounds and blocked two throws.
For the Celtics there is a duel with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The opening encounter of the series will take place on Tuesday (local time) in Miami.