Davis, Hill get healthy from ‘pilot diet’
DOUGLAS, Texas — De’Aaron Fox didn’t care if it was raining or not on the court.
He did his best to keep his spirits up and he took it all in stride.
“I think my mindset was I’m just going to be the best player I can be,” the Dallas Mavericks guard said.
The Mavericks are still hoping that Fox is healthy enough to start, and that they can get him back to 100 percent from a knee injury he suffered in early December.
He was limited for much of the season after breaking his right foot during an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 31.
Fox said he went through three or four different orthopedic clinics and had an MRI done and a CT scan.
The Dallas Mavericks signed Fox as a free agent in July.
His return to the court would be the first sign of hope for the Mavericks, who have struggled in the postseason after winning four of their past six.
After winning the Southwest Conference title in the summer of 2016, Dallas fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs and had a 2-7 start.
Dallas won five of six games before losing in seven games to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Western Conference semifinals.
The loss knocked them out of the race for the eighth and final playoff spot.
After falling behind by six points with 8:51 left in the third quarter, Fox found a way to pull away.
He finished with a career-high 32 points and 10 rebounds for a 115-111 victory over the Los, Angeles Clippers.
“We just had to find a way,” Fox said.
“The last thing we wanted to do was have any type of turnover.”
Chandler Parsons had 23 points for the Clippers, who won their fourth straight game.
“He’s a player that can really get a rebound, get out and score a lot of points,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
He also had 10 rebounds.
Dallas has a chance to win the Southwest Division and get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09.
But they are far from ready to play in the playoffs.
They have played in only three games since losing to the Sacramento Warriors in the second round of this year’s playoffs.
“They’re a team that’s in the midst of a rebuild,” Rivers said of the Mavericks.
“You look at what they’re doing.
They’re making the playoffs every year and it’s hard to believe that’s not happening.”
This is the fourth season in a row that the Mavericks have missed the postseason for the second straight season.
They haven’t made the playoffs since winning the conference finals in 2014-15.
The franchise has won the division once since 2008, but was eliminated from the postseason in that year’s Western Conference finals.
Dallas, however, had been in the mix for the playoffs a few years prior with a dominant regular season.
In 2013-14, the Mavericks were the conference’s second-seeded team before losing to Oklahoma City in six games.
Dallas finished with an 18-7 record and advanced to the conference semifinals for the 15th straight season, the longest streak in the league.
It wasn’t until 2017-18 that the franchise’s championship window opened.
They ended up finishing a disappointing 18-52, the worst record in the NBA.
They also missed the playoffs in five of their last six seasons, including missing the playoffs the last two years.
Dallas is currently in the middle of a three-game road trip before visiting Houston, Phoenix and Utah in the next two days.
The Jazz are the first team to beat Dallas this season.
Jazz guard Rodney Hood scored 15 points and added six assists in the victory.
The Clippers, on the other hand, had their way with the Mavericks on Tuesday night.
The two teams combined for 30 points in the fourth quarter.
“It’s been a long time coming for us, but it’s finally here,” Fox joked.
“And the way we’re playing right now, I feel like we’re ready.”
The Mavericks have won four straight at home and have won eight of their nine games in Dallas.
They finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists from Jason Terry and Chandler Parsons, who was a key part of the team’s late-season surge.
The win also gave the Mavericks a six-game winning streak against the Utah Jazz.
Utah has lost eight of its last nine.
The last time the Mavericks lost three in a week was Feb. 22-23, 2015.
The Suns are now on a four-game trip that starts Thursday night in Atlanta.
The team’s next game is against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.