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Mavericks Vs. Hawks Final Score: Dallas Finishes As No. 7 Seed After 106-89 Loss In Atlanta

The Dallas Mavericks will begin their NBA championship defense against the team they beat in last year's Western Conference finals.

Dallas entered the night with a chance to move up to the No. 6 seed, but with Thursday's 106-89 loss to the Hawks in Atlanta, the Mavs will finish as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and face the Oklahoma City Thunder beginning on Saturday.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting, but he played just 26 minutes, as Dallas' playoff fate was all but certain in the second half and Nowitzki hurt his arm in the first half. Rodrique Beaubois had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists. The Mavs shot 42.3 percent (33-for-38) from the floor. The Hawks shot 52.9 percent (45-for-85) from the floor and were led by 23 points from Josh Smith.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball. For Atlanta Hawks news and info, head over to Peachtree Hoops and check out SB Nation's NBA page for all your NBA news.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.