Mavs star Doncic out against Suns with sprained ankle, knee

NBA

DALLAS (AP)Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game against Phoenix with a sprained left ankle and knee after getting injured late in a win over Denver.

Doncic’s lower left leg got caught and bent awkwardly under Austin Rivers as the Nuggets guard fell on a layup attempt after colliding with Doncic in the final minute Monday night. Dallas won 111-101.

The team said the 22-year-old wouldn’t be available for the first of two consecutive games at the Suns. Dallas then has two games at the Los Angeles Clippers to finish its four-game trip.

It will be the first missed game this season for Doncic, who has had issues with sprained ankles in the past. The most significant was a seven-game absence in 2019-20, not long before the pandemic suspended the season.

The injury comes after the most impressive win for the Mavericks this season going into a difficult stretch of the schedule, and with Doncic and European sidekick Kristaps Porzingis clicking better than they have in some time.

Doncic started slowly this season as the Mavericks struggled against good teams but had been rounding into All-Star form. Two games ago, the Slovenian sensation had his first triple-double of the season with a season-high 15 assists.

In a 107-104 victory over Boston on Nov. 6, Doncic hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to become the only player since 1997-98 with four game-winners with under 2 seconds remaining in the regular season and playoffs before turning 23, according to Elias.

Dallas forward Maxi Kleber will miss his eighth consecutive game in the first of two against Phoenix. He has a left oblique strain.

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