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Sports

Dirk Nowitzki and Dallas set for play-offs

Wednesday night saw the close of the NBA regular season with all 30 teams in action. Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks secured their 13th play-off berth, with the post season to start at the end of this week.

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks will be in the NBA play-offs for a thirteenth time as the NBA regular season ended on a busy night of basketball on Wednesday.

The Mavericks had already secured its seventh-seed spot in the play-offs, but a 114-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers - Nowitzki scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds - capped off a good season.

Dallas will now face its Texas rival Houston Rockets in the first round of the post season. Rockets shooting-guard James Harden is in contention for the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the season but Russell Westbrook, who clinched the top scorer award with 37 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, is also a contender.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Lakers ended with a loss at home to the Sacramento Kings, securing its worst regular season record in history (21 wins, 61 losses).

The Golden State Warriors finished with a franchise record 67 wins, securing first spot in the Western Conference. Defending NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the standout game of the play-off first round.

NBA play-off first round (all ties are best-of-seven games):

Eastern Conference: Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards

Western Conference: Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies