Doncic injury puts playoff status in doubt as Mavs top Spurs

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Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) reaches for his lower leg after suffering an unknown lower leg injury in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS – Luka Doncic strained his left calf in Dallas' 130-120 win over San Antonio in what turned out to be a meaningless regular-season finale on Sunday night, putting the superstar's status in question for the playoff-bound Mavericks.

Doncic wouldn't have even been eligible for the game had the NBA not rescinded his 16th technical foul of the season two nights earlier against Portland. Without the NBA's decision, Doncic would have served a one-game suspension.

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The two-time All-Star had turned to run to the defensive end late in the third quarter when he pulled up after the first step and stopped.

Doncic, who led Dallas with 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, called for the medical staff while reaching for his calf after play was stopped and almost immediately went to the locker room.

Coach Jason Kidd said after the game he didn't have any update on the injury, but Doncic's status could be in doubt with fourth-seeded Dallas set to open the playoffs next weekend against Utah.

The Mavericks had a chance to move up the third seed, but needed New Orleans to beat Golden State when the Pelicans were resting several regulars. The Warriors won 128-107.

The Spurs were already locked into the final spot in the play-in tournament as the 10th seed in the Western Conference. Keldon Johnson scored 24 points for San Antonio, which will play ninth-seeded New Orleans on Wednesday. The winner plays the loser between No 7 seed Minnesota and the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 8 seed.

Kidd said before the game the club wanted to treat it as a dress rehearsal for the playoffs even if it didn’t mean moving up from the fourth seed.

Doncic had played his normal rotation, going the entire first quarter and part of the second. He was on the verge of playing all of the third quarter when he pulled up with the injury. He left with 2:24 remaining in the quarter.

Dorian Finney-Smith scored all of his 16 points in the third quarter, when Dallas broke a 59-59 halftime tie by outscoring San Antonio 38-23. The Mavericks held on in the fourth quarter with a lineup filled by players not in the rotation.

The Mavericks won all four games against San Antonio, sweeping the season series from their Texas rivals for the first time.


Spurs: G Lonnie Walker IV sat with lower back tightness a night after leading the Spurs with 24 points in a loss to Golden State. ... Dejounte Murray scored 17 points after missing the past five games with a non-COVID-19 illness. ... Josh Richardson scored 18 points against his former team. ... Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Mavericks: C Dwight Powell set a club record with 18 consecutive shots made over four games. Coming into the season, Powell shared the previous record of 14 with DeAndre Jordan and Erick Dampier. He broke the record with his first bucket before the run ended on his fifth attempt when he couldn't convert an alley-oop pass from Jalen Brunson. He finished 5 of 6 and scored 12 points. ... F Maxi Kleber missed his fourth consecutive game with right ankle soreness, but Kidd said he would be ready for the playoffs.


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