Mavs’ Doncic sprains ankle, awaits MRI on Saturday


Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic sprained his left ankle late in the third quarter of Friday’s 130-122 loss to the LA Clippers in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series and was ruled out after briefly returning in the fourth quarter.

Doncic, a 21-year-old All-Star, said he will have an MRI on Saturday.

“We’ll know more tomorrow,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “He did come back and try it obviously and wasn’t moving great, so we’ll see where he is come tomorrow and then Sunday morning.”

Doncic went down after rolling the ankle while defending Kawhi Leonard on a drive to the basket with 3:58 remaining in the third. He immediately grabbed his left ankle, and after being helped to his feet, Doncic hopped on his right foot off the floor and up the tunnel.

Doncic returned at the beginning of the fourth quarter and was clearly hobbled before exiting with 9:02 remaining. The Mavs announced minutes later that Doncic would not return.

“It’s not that bad,” said Doncic, who twice missed stretches this season after spraining his right ankle, sitting a total of 11 games. “Honestly, I had luck that it was my left ankle. It’s not my right.”

Asked about his brief return in the fourth, Doncic said, “I just wanted to get in. I know we still had a chance to win, help my teammates. But obviously I could run a little bit, but I couldn’t push off my left leg. So it was better to go out and let somebody play.”

Doncic averaged 35.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists while the Mavs and Clippers split the first two games of the series. He had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 3, becoming the third-youngest player in NBA history to record a playoff triple-double, behind only Magic Johnson and LeBron James.

“We need him. We need him for the next games,” Kristaps Porzingis said. “And hopefully, the medical staff can get him right so he can be back with us next game.”

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