The Dallas Mavericks had their four-game win streak and an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter erased by the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 20. Dallas was on the second night of a back-to-back and dropped a hard-fought 109-101 game to the team with the best record in the NBA. There were plenty of positive takeaways for the Mavs, but the injury to superstar Luka Doncic is concerning.
The 22-year-old hurt his neck late in the third quarter on a drive to the basket where he made contact with Suns center Bismack Biyombo. Fans could see Doncic getting treatment on the bench, but the star returned in the fourth quarter. He had four points and one rebound in the final 7:25 of action as the Suns made their comeback, and Luka made no excuses about the injury impacting him after the game.
He talked about the injury, how similar it was to one he suffered in the 2021 playoff against the LA Clippers, and what fans should expect moving forward. Let us take a closer look at why the injury came at a bad time for the Mavericks.
Luka Doncic suffers neck injury in loss to Suns
The 22-year-old superstar produce 24 points and eight dimes in the first three quarters on Thursday night and had the Mavs up by eight. They were in the driver’s seat, but the Suns closed out strong as Dallas playing on the second night of a back-to-back caught up to them.
Luka showed his toughness and will to win by playing through the injury, but it was limiting him. He struggled to turn his head in the postgame interview and described his neck as “pretty sore”.
Fans may remember Doncic suffered a similar injury to his neck in Game 4 of the 2021 first-round playoff series against the LA Clippers. He was limited to just 19 points as the Mavericks suffered a blowout loss. Luka described this one as “a little bit worse because it’s the spine here” before noting he would be fine after a few days of treatment.
The Mavericks are rolling right now. After Thursday’s loss, Dallas has still won ten of the last 12 to climb back to fifth in the Western Conference. Next up is a pivotal game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant and company are 4.5 games up for first place in the Southwest Division, but Dallas can secure the season series with a victory on Sunday night.
Luka Doncic’s neck injury came at a bad time in Thursday’s game, and things go from bad to worse if he is forced to miss additional time. The Mavs are hot and need their superstar to keep the momentum going.
The 22-year-old will be getting a ton of treatment leading into Sunday’s contest in hopes of playing. Luka played in Game 5 of the playoffs just three days after the first injury and had 42 points as he led the Mavs to a five-point victory.
Expect Luka Doncic to play on Sunday night against the Grizzlies. Will the 22-year-old superstar be 100 percent? Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on the injury and all the rumors, analysis, and opinions fans crave on the Dallas Mavericks.