Ted Cruz says he's still fired up about beating Jimmy Kimmel in their 1-on-1 basketball game over the weekend ... especially after all that trash Jimmy talked before, during and after the game!
"Jimmy is very good at smack talk," Cruz tells TMZ Sports ... "He did smack talk all during the game. He did smack talk the whole week before the game. But at the end of the day, you gotta go to the court and you gotta perform!"
The two had clashed Saturday at the Blobfish Basketball Classic -- which raised more than $80k for Texas Children's Hospital and Generation One, a Houston-based education nonprofit.
"We had a lot of fun," Cruz said ... "It was not pretty, but thankfully we got the W."