Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic has triple-double, injures ankle in Game 3 vs. Clippers
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic injures ankle in the third quarter of Game 3 vs. Clippers
The Dallas Mavericks topped the LA Clippers on Wednesday night to even their first-round playoff series at one game apiece. They led wire-to-wire behind 28 points from Luka Doncic. The upset had the Mavs feeling good about their chances at pulling the upset and advancing.
Game three happened on Friday night. The Mavericks shifted to being the home team inside the Orlando bubble. The Clippers were looking for any way to stop Luka. He had torched their vaunted defense for 70 points in 66 minutes through two games.
Luka sprained his ankle in the third quarter of game three. He managed to return but quickly headed back to the bench. Here is a look at Doncic’s performance and the latest on his injury.
Luka Doncic injures ankle in Dallas Mavericks loss to LA Clippers in Game 3
It was a wild start. The two teams were trading blows in the first quarter. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle decided to leave Luka in the game longer than he had been in the bubble. He produced this beautiful driving lay-in.
Doncic got into a heated altercation with Montrezl Harrell with 4:27 remaining in the first. Both players were called for personal and technical fouls. Luka went to the bench after the skirmish with four points, two assists, and one steal.
Doncic came back in with 1:30 left in the opening quarter. The game was tied at 23 and shaping up to be an epic playoff showdown after the first 12 minutes.
Luka drilled his patented step back 3-pointer early in the second quarter.
The Clippers grabbed the momentum in the second quarter. They scored 45 points to push their lead to 14 at halftime. Doncic kept getting to the line but missed his free throws. He was four of ten in the first half. Luka had 11 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and one block in 18 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Luka Doncic in the third quarter. Kawhi Leonard drove to the basket, and Doncic sprained his ankle. He put no weight on the leg as jumped up from the floor and hopped back to the locker room. It was a crushing blow for Mavericks fans, but Doncic came right back. He returned to the game at the start of the fourth quarter and the Mavs down by 17.
Luka was slowed by the injury. He was deferring to others and not getting the ball in the lane. Doncic went out with 9:02 remaining in the fourth and did not return. Luka finished with 13 points, ten rebounds, ten assists, one steal, and one block in 29 minutes of action.
Fans have to commend Luka’s heart and determination. He wanted to play so badly and help his team. The ankle was just too painful.
Supporters will have to keep an eye on the injury report heading into Sunday afternoon’s game four. Luka Doncic should be considered questionable at best. Can he still produce with the injury? Will the Mavericks be able to win without him? There will be plenty of questions leading into game four. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest.