During a heated Game 3 between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers, Mavericks forward PJ Washington gained even more love and admiration from the Mavs' faithful after separate altercations with Terance Mann, Russell Westbrook, and other members of the Clippers.

Early in the fourth quarter of the game, of which the Mavericks were leading 84-67, Washington turned toward and seemed to say something to the Clippers' bench. That garnered a reaction from Mann, who confronted Washington, prompting an official to get in the middle of the two men. Washington then turned back toward the Clippers' bench and crossed his arms, which drew strong support from the Mavericks' fans and a laugh from Luka Doncic.

Later in the fourth quarter, following an intentional foul by Westbrook on Doncic and a short Westbrook push to Doncic after the whistle, Washington gave Westbrook a push of his own in the back. Westbrook then toward Washington and had to be held back by an official. For their parts in the brouhaha, Washington was slapped with his second technical foul of the game, while Westbrook earned two at once, resulting in both players' ejections. Washington had drawn a technical during his run-in with Mann earlier in the quarter.

Westbrook nearly earned an ejection earlier in the game anyway; during the second quarter, Josh Green was on the verge of completing a fast-break bucket, but Westbrook met him at the rim and delivered a hard foul to Green's head on the apparent contest. Due to how much contact was made above the neck to Green, Westbrook earned a Flagrant 1, although a Flagrant 2, which would have meant an automatic ejection, definitely deserved some consideration.

Mavericks vs. Clippers rivalry

Dallas Mavericks player PJ Washington during confrontation with the Los Angeles Clippers' Russell Westbrook

While PJ Washington earned quite a bit of credibility with his part in the incidents between the Clippers and Mavericks on Friday night, this is far from the first time these two teams have had issues with one another. While this is the third time in five years the teams have met in the playoffs, possibly their most notable series was their first in 2020.

Playing in the NBA Bubble, things were chippy throughout, as Luka Doncic drew the attention of the likes of Marcus Morris and Montrezl Harrell, who delivered hard fouls and technicals during the series. Kristaps Porzingis also earned an ejection from Game 1 in the series as a result of two technical fouls as well, illustrating the competitiveness of the series.

While the two teams have obviously grown to dislike each other, the Clippers came out ahead in both of the previous matchups. Despite Doncic's best efforts, the Clippers eliminated Dallas in six games in 2020 and in seven games in 2021.

After their 101-90 win on Friday, the Mavericks have taken a 2-1 lead in the series and have a chance to really put the Clippers in a dangerous position in Game 4, which will again be in Dallas. Game 4 between the Mavericks and Clippers is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.