By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Luka Doncic couldn’t enjoy his new historic triple-double performance as much as he would probably want to.
After becoming the first Mavericks player to have a playoffs triple-double (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) and the third-youngest player ever to register one (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) postseason after Magic Johnson and Lebron James (per Mavs PR) in Game 3 of the series vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, Doncic was forced to exit the match with four minutes left in the third period due to a left ankle sprain. With Dallas now down 2-1, the Slovenian point forward is questionable for Game 4, pending the MRI.
After the game, Doncic appeared cautiously optimistic and not worried much. “I don’t know how it happened. It’s not that bad,” he said in a zoom call. “Honestly, I had luck that it was my left ankle. It’s not my right.” The 21-year-old All-Star had suffered right ankle sprains in December and January, injuries that kept him out for eleven matches in total.
Doncic hopped off the court on one leg and returned to the bench early in the fourth quarter. He was eager to jump in the game to help the Mavericks’ efforts but was unable to do so.
“I just wanted to get in. We still had a chance to win. To help my teammates. 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 else play,” Doncic said.
“He did come back and tried it obviously. Wasn’t moving great,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle mentioned.
The Mavericks are facing the Clippers on Sunday 3:30 p.m local time (21:30 CET Saturday). It’s a short timeframe for Doncic to be greenlighted to play, as Carlisle said.
“The game is early Sunday, which doesn’t help things, but we’ll see,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got every advanced treatment modality that you can have, as every team here does. We’ll see how this responds in the next 36 hours.”