Best Surprise Playoff Performance 2022 | Jalen Brunson, Mavericks | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Admit it, when the Dallas Mavericks lost Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup against the Utah Jazz and then announced that Luka Doncic would also miss Game 2 because of a strained calf, the general feeling around town was, welp, it was fun while it lasted. But Jalen Brunson wasn't having it. The fourth-year guard poured in a career-high 41 points in the Mavs' 110-104 win, and in doing so joined Doncic, Dirk Nowitzki, Rolando Blackman and Nick Van Exel as the only players in Mavericks history to score at least 40 in a postseason game. Even though he's gone now, that's pretty nice company.

Dallas-Fort Worth is loaded with amazing sports venues. There's the big bright spectacles of AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field in Arlington, the friendly and fun Riders Field in Frisco, the historic Cotton Bowl in South Dallas and even some great college venues, such as Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth and the underrated College Park Center in Arlington. Still, American Airlines Center (AAC) is hard to top. Located in Victory Park in the heart of Dallas, the AAC has easy access to bars and restaurants within walking distance. The Stars ranked seventh in the NHL in attendance, while the Mavericks ranked third in the NBA, so the atmosphere within the stadium was consistently very lively and energetic. The AAC plays a great host to concerts and shows as well.

Mike Brooks

One thing the pandemic reminded us is that dining outside can be just as valuable as the nourishment you're eating. Even better is doing so while on green grass under the shade of a tree, looking out onto a bit of water with the Dallas skyline in the background. That's the scene when having a picnic at Reverchon Park, the absolute best spot to enjoy a meal al fresco. It's Dallas' premier urban park, where there's plenty of shaded grass and it's easy to grab food from Malibu Poke not far away. Get the sauce on the side, park at the rec center if you're driving and walk to a shaded spot to sit down, take a beat from the day and enjoy.

While Ducanville basketball made a case for a second straight award, and Desoto's women's basketball made winning a state championship look easy, just about everyone got lost in the gold and glory that the South Oak Cliff High School football team earned in 2021. After a first-week loss to Ducanville, the Golden Bears went on a dominant run of 15 straight wins en route to a state title. With a powerhouse defense starring Billy Walton and Malik Muhammad and led by head coach Jason Todd, SOC became the first Dallas ISD school to win a state football title since 1958, and the first in South Oak Cliff history.

Whether you are a seasoned racer, a newbie who wants to get in shape or just someone who wants to beat your friends at something, Dallas Athletes Racing offers plenty of themed options throughout the year including 5Ks, 10Ks, triathlons and half marathons. In 2022, there was a 5K for Juneteenth, races to support wounded warriors, as well as St. Patrick's Day and Halloween races. You don't need to be expert or even to have raced before to participate.

There was a lot of excitement around here on June 16 when Dallas learned that it would be one of 16 host sites for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Four years from now, people from parts near and far will be here to watch soccer's best kick it around at AT&T Stadium. Of course, they already are thanks to the annual Dallas Cup, held in North Texas each spring. At one of the game's premier youth tournaments, teams come from around the country, including Hawaii, and also from around the globe. No need to wait until 2026 to see soccer's best. The world is here every year.

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