It was already a rough night for the Dallas Mavericks — Kawhi Leonard was attacking and the Clippers offense was steamrolling the Mavs defense — when late in the third quarter Luka Doncic rolled his ankle and suffered an injury that had Mavs nation holding its breath.
Doncic limped off the court, got treatment and tape back in the locker room, tried to come back in but soon checked himself back out and his night was done.
The Mavs don’t know the severity of the injury.
“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said after the game (via Tim MacMahon of ESPN). “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 said he will have an MRI on Saturday, which will give them a better idea of the severity.
Whether Doncic was in or out in Game 3, the Clippers offense kept on rolling. Leonard finished with 36 points (with almost all of his buckets coming in the paint as he attacked) with nine rebounds and eight assists. He dominated much of the game playing downhill and getting to the rim. It was not a one-man show, however, six other Clippers finished the game in double digits, and as a team L.A. shot 14-of-34 from three (42.1%). Everything was falling.
Dallas, to its credit, did not roll over when Doncic left, hanging around close enough to make a run. But without their best playmaker — Doncic averaged 35 points and eight assists a game through the first two games of this series — they just did not have enough.
In the end it was a 130-122 Los Angeles win, putting the Clippers up 2-1 in the series. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in the Orlando bubble.
The big question is whether Doncic will be able to play in that game, and if so, will he be 100%. We’ll find that answer in the next couple of days.