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After their entertaining seven-game series in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns won’t have to wait long to reignite their rivalry.
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported Monday that the two teams will open their 2022-23 season with a matchup on Oct. 19.
The Mavericks surprisingly emerged victorious from their playoff series to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011. The Suns entered last year’s playoffs as the No. 1 seed after finishing with a league-best record of 64-18. Phoenix needed six games to get past the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round, but the team looked to have returned to form when it opened its series against Dallas with back-to-back wins.
However, the Mavs upped their defensive intensity when they returned to their home floor to win the next two games. The Suns then cruised to a 30-point win in Game 5 to push the Mavericks to the brink of elimination, but things fell apart for Phoenix in the next two contests.
The Mavs took a 113-86 win at home in Game 6 before returning to Phoenix and shocking the masses with a 123-90 blowout victory in Game 7. Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker shot a combined 9-of-31 from the field over the final two games of the series. Conversely, Luka Doncic put the Mavs on his back with a combined 68 points in Games 6 and 7.
Phoenix will surely be seeking revenge after its disappointing playoff exit. The Suns maintained their entire core, with veteran point guard Chris Paul returning for another run and young center Deandre Ayton re-signing after testing restricted free agency.
Dallas notably lost second-leading scorer Jalen Brunson after he signed with the New York Knicks, but the team added size by trading for center Christian Wood and signing veteran big man JaVale McGee.