Mavs’ Doncic seeks quick recovery heading into Game 4
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida — The Dallas Mavericks will work around the clock on Luka Doncic, hoping he can be healthy enough to play Monday (Manila time).
The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets can tell them all about how hard the playoffs are without star guards.
Doncic hopes to make a quick recovery, and the 76ers and Nets look to avoid quick exits heading into Game 4 of their series.
Doncic sprained his left ankle in the third quarter of Dallas’ 130-122 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. He came back in the fourth but wasn’t moving well and eventually left for good.
The Mavericks were hoping to get him an MRI exam Saturday and planning to keep him off the court all day. Coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic would likely be a game-time decision.
“Obviously, we know the nature of the game. Sometimes injuries happen,” Dallas guard Trey Burke said. “If he can’t go, guys have got to be ready to play, step up and we’ve got to have the same mentality going out there and that’s to win.”
The Mavs beat the second-seeded Clippers in Game 2 even though Doncic was saddled with foul trouble. Losing the NBA’s triple-double leader for an entire game would be much tougher.
The 76ers and Nets have had to go entire series without top ballhandlers and they’re on the verge of being swept out of the bubble.
Philadelphia is down 3-0 to Boston. Playing without All-Star Ben Simmons, the Sixers have hung in defensively but struggled to score down the stretch in close losses.
“It’s hard when you come up short,” All-Star center Joel Embiid said. “No one wants to be in this position. I’m sure my teammates, we all hate being in this position but like I said we can’t give up.”
No team has come back from a 3-0 deficit. The Nets sure don’t look capable after getting routed by Toronto in their Game 3 loss.
Brooklyn already came to the bubble without Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie, their top point guards. They lost another key player after Game 2 when starting swingman Joe Harris left for family reasons.
“I hope our group embraces the now the moment that they’re in,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We don’t know what this thing is going to look like a month, a year, two years from now, so you have moments in your life that you can hold onto. We can embrace this time and you never know what happens if you win one game.”
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