Image courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

After suffering a knee injury and was not able to play since Oct. 23 against the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers’ Marcus Morris Sr. had a challenging return as they faced Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks — a familiar foe that they’re having a hard time to deal with when being matched up. 

And when he was asked postgame about the frequent close clash between the two, as the Mavs outlasted the Clips via a 112-104 tight dub, Morris Sr. said that Doncic and co. are simply determined to go all out due to the shortcomings they have suffered against them over the last two seasons.

“When you beat somebody enough, you leave a bad taste on him,” the forward told the media. “Now they want to play against you alive, so it is what it is.” 

And when asked if the LAC and the Mavericks have a relationship like “old school boxing rivalries”, Marcus Sr. had a plain initial response. 

“We don’t go that far,” the veteran stated.

“We beat them all the time, so until they get a win … it’s really on our side so they got to come in, they got to do what they’re supposed to do.”

Dallas, being headlined by Doncic, holds its very own position as an overwhelming force that shouldn’t be underestimated — joining fellow contenders, like the Clippertown in the highly-competitive Western Conference. Having a well-balanced lineup that is filled by knock-down shooters and trusted role players, the Slovenian phenom is the undisputed engine of the squad with fellow European star Kristaps Porzingis sitting as his right hand. 

As the talented Mavs continue to develop and remain faithful to their solid system, Marcus Sr. has nothing but acknowledgement. 

“Kudos to their team. I like their team — they’re playing well, they stick together, they had the same players for few years and it was always fun having them battles.”

The Mavericks-Clippers face-off is heavily praised and acclaimed due to the intensity and hard-fought matchup of each engaging player. These two ball clubs have met for back-to-back first round wars in 2020 as well as 2021, where the Clips remained supreme and aced the contests in six and seven games, respectively. 

Superstar Kawhi Leonard remains on the sideline for his ACL recovery and his absence is a spoiling one, but still it would be thrilling to have a postseason trilogy book about both these Western giants. As such, they have delivered us some exciting battles and great storylines. No doubt Doncic will be out for blood, while one-two punch Paul George and Reggie Jackson are nuclear gunners who are tough to check on the defensive standpoint.

After the road win, Dallas improved to 10-7, while the LAC went down with a 10-8 card, due to the loss. They are scheduled for a regular season rematch on Feb. 11 inside the American Airlines Center.