Luka Doncic Makes Major Impact vs Clippers In Return For Mavericks

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic injured his left ankle and knee near the end of the team’s victory over the Denver Nuggets on November 15th. Dallas couldn’t have lost him at a worse time, as they were set to play two-game road sets against the Phoenix Suns and LA Clippers for four games — two of the NBA’s tougher teams.

The injury knocked Doncic out for three games and the Mavericks lost each one, getting swept by the Suns and losing the first game to the Clippers. Luckily for Dallas, Doncic was able to return to the court for the second game against LA and he helped them get back into the win column.

That second game against the Clippers was one that Doncic was motivated to return for.

There is a budding rivalry between the teams, as they have faced off in the first round of the postseason two straight years. It has been lopsided, as the Clippers won both, but the Dallas Mavericks are looking to change that.

“It’s always special. I wanted to play this game really bad,” Doncic said. “That’s why I have to say the medical staff did a great job. Everybody helped me every day. We made it happen.”

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Paul George forced overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which could demoralize a team. Dallas didn’t allow that to get them down, as they dominated the extra five minutes, winning the game 112-104.

In his first game in over a week, Luka Doncic nearly triple-doubled in his return. He scored 26 points with nine rebounds and nine assists, swiping one steal and blocking two shots as well in 41 minutes of play.

Luka Doncic admitted to being a little winded after the game, but there is nothing a victory can’t fix.

“I mean mentally, I was really happy to be back,” Doncic said. “I miss basketball. I know it’s only been three [games], but I will do everything possible to play the game. I felt great after I woke up from my nap. I was just ready to go.”

“I was tired,” Doncic said with a chuckle. “And overtime in the first game back, it was tough. But we got a win. That’s all that matters. I was happy.”

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Dallas now has a record of 10-7 on the season as things are beginning to click. Kristaps Porzingis is also hitting his stride, giving the Mavericks one of the higher upside duos in the league with their European stars.