After spraining his left ankle in the third quarter of Friday’s Game 3 vs. the Clippers, Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic will not return, despite an inspiring attempt to play through the injury.
Luka Dončić (left ankle sprain) will not return to tonight’s game.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) August 22, 2020
Originally injured in the early minutes of Game 1, when he slipped on that same ankle, Doncic exacerbated the injury with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter Friday, while sliding over to cut off a Kawhi Leonard drive.
Doncic immediately hit the deck and was being looked at as soon as there was a stoppage. He then hopped off the court without putting any weight on the ankle. Yet he could be seen standing in the team huddle during the break between quarters, attempting to jog off the discomfort. He stuck it out long enough to record a 13-10-10 triple-double.
But with 9:02 remaining in the fourth, Doncic came up hopping in the middle of another defensive possession, immediately heading offcourt to find a chair. There, he repeatedly checked on the ankle, wincing, and then would place his hands over his face. After a few seconds, he walked gingerly toward the locker room.
The Clippers went on to win, 130-122, behind 36 points from Kawhi Leonard. Game 4 is scheduled for 3:30 ET on Sunday (ABC).
“We’ll see how [Luka] responds in the next 36 hours,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “He didn’t further injure it. He just wasn’t able to move the way you’ve got to be able to move in a playoff game.”
Doncic, speaking with reporters postgame told them he was scheduled for an MRI, saying, “It’s not that bad. A little sprain. We’ll know more tomorrow.”