Luka Doncic was dealing with a sore left quad muscle on Saturday night, but it didn’t affect his performance, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. The Mavericks star had 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in a win at Golden State after being listed as questionable before the game and not being assured of playing until after warm-ups.
“The first half was really good,” Doncic said. “The third quarter, I started feeling it again. I had to warm up. Obviously, it’s a concern. It’s been (this way) since March. So obviously there’s a concern. I just try to keep lifting in the weight room. That helps me a lot. But obviously there’s a little bit of concern.”
Sefko notes that Dallas is 10-3 this season when shooting at least 40% from three-point range, which is exactly what the team hit on Saturday. Doncic helped by going 5-of-13 from beyond the arc, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his improved three-point shooting has made him more difficult to guard.
“In the past he was 34 (percent) from three and you’d go into the game and you’d trust the numbers (and) we’re not going to chase him off the line,” Kerr said. “But now he’s at 38 (percent) and that’s a pretty dramatic difference, so this is probably the best he’s ever played because of the consistency of that three-point shot setting up the rest of his game.”
There’s more on the Mavericks:
- Josh Green enjoyed his best game since returning from an elbow injury this week, scoring 18 points in 25 minutes off the bench against Golden State, Sefko adds in a separate story. Green, who missed 12 games while he was healing, was impressed by the players who filled in for him. “I’m so happy for guys like Dante (Exum) and D-Jones (Derrick Jones Jr.),” Green said. “They’ve done an amazing job. It’s been good for everybody and great for our team. But at the same time, I need to continue to progress and get better every game.”
- In another piece, Sefko examines the progress of rookie center Dereck Lively II, who has been outstanding some nights but often finds himself in foul trouble. “We’re asking a lot of D-Live,” Dwight Powell said. “And he’s doing an amazing job. He’s studying the game and bringing energy and effort. He’s impacting the game on a lot of levels. He’s doing everything in his power to shore up the things he needs to improve on. That’s a big challenge for rookies in this league, but especially centers.”
- Kyrie Irving has been listed as questionable for Monday’s game at Utah, giving him a chance to play for the first time since suffering a right heel contusion three weeks ago, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.