While fans all over the Dallas area have been waiting for a day like today, with the Cowboys hoping to bury their old rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, and a generation of playoff disappointment, the Mavericks have a chance to deal with a demon of their own.

In deference to the Cowboys’ divisional-round playoff game, the Mavericks’ match against the Los Angeles Clippers has been moved up to a 1:30 p.m. tip at American Airlines Center.

Fans will have the chance for a terrific basketball-football doubleheader.

That it’s the Clippers is maybe kind of appropriate. The Mavericks’ first two playoff experiences in the Luka Dončić era came at the hands of the Clippers. And while the jumbled Western Conference standings change greatly day by day, there’s a chance these teams could be playoff foes again come April.

If so, the Mavericks are hoping they have the same sort of Reggie Bullock in their arsenal of weapons that they had during last season’s journey to the Western Conference finals, when the 6-6 swingman averaged 10.6 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range.

This season, he started with a massive shooting slump, shooting 31 percent from distance in the first 40 games.

In the last seven: He’s 26 of 50, (52 percent) and is averaging 12.7 points. And is his usual defense has been reliable, too.

“Just continue to keep believing in my shot,” Bullock said after hitting five of six three-pointers in the 25-point win over Miami on Friday. “I believe in the work that I continue to keep putting in. It was a very slow start for me, but the organization, the team, every day they’re telling me ‘shoot the ball, shoot the ball, shoot the ball.’

“It’s all about me continuing with that confidence and continuing to believe in my reps and keep it going.”

As good as he’s been for the last two weeks, it seems to be getting even better. Bullock has averaged 16.8 points and shot 65.5 percent from deep in the last four gmaes.

There’s a few other things to look for during the matinee matchup Sunday:

  • The defense perked up in the 115-90 triumph over Miami. The Mavericks had given up 436 points in the previous three games (130-plus in each). “We know what we have to do when we go into practice,” Bullock said. “We look at film, we see the things that they put two on, our spots that we need to be at on the defensive end. We just have to give multiple effort and stick to the game plan. Go out there and just try to perform and do it.” Suffice it to say that, while the Mavericks are a strong offensive team, they won’t be going very far this season if they’re defense doesn’t develop some teeth consistently.
  • Luka Dončić had 34 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists Friday against the Heat. It was his 32nd game of the season scoring 30-plus points, which leads the NBA (tied for second are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jayson Tatum, 25 games). Dončić is averaging a league-best 33.7 points per game, just ahead of Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (33.6).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie has scored 15-plus points in 30 games this season, the third-most of his career (50 in 2019-20; 38 in 2018-19). Over his last four games, Dinwiddie is averaging 23.0 points and 5.8 assists.
  • The Clippers are technically on a four-game trip, but the last one on Tuesday will be in LA against the Lakers. So far, they have lost at Utah and beat San Antonio 131-126 on Friday. In that game, Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, Ivica Zubac had 16 rebounds and Paul George had 12 assists. At one point, the Clippers were 21-15, but they have lost six of nine to fall to .500.


  • When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday.
  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas.
  • TV: Bally’s Sports Southwest.
  • Radio:1 FM, 99.1 FM Zona MX (Spanish).
  • Twitter: @ESefko

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