Just over ten months ago, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-90 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Phoenix's home floor.
The Mavericks battled back from down 0-2 in the series and upset the top-seeded Suns to move on to their first Western Conference Finals since 2011, the year that the Mavericks won the championship.
The Mavericks versus Suns series was filled with technical fouls, flagrant fouls, and even a set of ejections. Marquese Chriss and Bismack Biyombo were both ejected with 2.3 seconds left in Game 5, and Chriss looked to fight Biyombo in the tunnel leading to the locker rooms after they both exited the floor.
Luka Doncic and Devin Booker scuffle reignites Dallas Mavericks and Suns rivalry
These teams don't like each other and Sunday's matchup confirmed that. This game was back and forth, but the Suns pulled out the 130-126 win behind 37 points from Kevin Durant and 36 points from Devin Booker.
With 3.5 seconds remaining in the game, Doncic shot a game-tying bunny from right in front of the bucket but missed it.
Booker responded to the miss by "talking to the ref", but Doncic seemed to think otherwise. Doncic said that the words from Booker were towards him and took exception to them by going after the Suns star.
The scuffle ended with players from both teams separating the two and double technicals were handed out to Booker and Doncic.
Even after the double technicals, the trash-talking continued. Kyrie Irving joined in on the jawing with Booker, and the two had to be separated by a referee. Irving stood up for his teammate and just like Doncic, he wasn't backing down from D-Book.
After the game Doncic said that Booker started talking to him before they went nose-to-nose, inherently denying the claim that Booker was talking to the referee after the miss. Doncic went on to say something that goes back to Luka's famous quote of, "Everybody acting tough when they up."
""Next time don't wait until it's three seconds left to talk.""
Booker is a player that Mavericks fans know well, but not for good reasons. He became notorious during the playoff series last year against the Mavs. In one instance, Booker drew a foul and laid on the floor for over 20 seconds and called it the "Luka special" inferring that Doncic flops and is dramatic.
This series created a rivalry between the Suns and the Mavericks, but also between Doncic and Booker.
After the Suns beat the Mavericks 110-80 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, Doncic gave one of the most famous quotes of the series that will go down in history when talking about the Mavs and Suns rivalry.
""Everybody acting tough when they up.""
Doncic was inferring that Phoenix was acting a type of way after they were one game away from eliminating the Mavericks. These were big words from Doncic as teams that go down 3-2 in a series only end up winning about 16 percent of the time.
But Dallas ended up being a part of that 16 percent as they won two straight games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals. In those two games, the Mavericks won by a combined 60 points and dominated the Suns.
Booker disappeared in Game 7 as he finished with just 11 points on 3 of 14 shooting. Doncic finished with 35 points and seemed unstoppable for the whole game. Luka backed up his big words as he pushed the Mavs to a series win over Booker and the Suns.
This rivalry between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns was already big before Sunday, but the end-of-game scuffle between Doncic and Booker just added fuel to the fire. Keep an eye on these two teams as the season wraps up because fans could see a playoff rematch between the Mavericks and Suns depending on how each team finishes the season.
That would be a series that no NBA fan would want to miss, and it would add more excitement to the Mavericks-Suns rivalry.