Lively Expected To Miss Game 4; Kleber Listed As Questionable

The Mavericks won’t have their outstanding rookie center for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals but they could get another veteran big man back in action.

Dereck Lively won’t play as the Mavericks try to close out the series against the Timberwolves on Tuesday, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT tweets. Lively is officially listed as doubtful to play by the team, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets.

Lively suffered a neck sprain during the second quarter in Game 3 on Sunday when he fell backward in the lane and was inadvertently kneed in the head by Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns. Lively’s head snapped forward upon contact. He was down on the court for several minutes before appearing dazed as he was helped to the locker room.

Lively has knocked down all 13 of his field goal attempts in the series. He had a 14-point, 9-rebound outing in Game 2.

Fortunately for Dallas, Maxi Kleber could be back in action. He’s listed as questionable, according to MacMahon.

Kleber has been out since May 3 due to a right shoulder injury, officially labelled an AC joint separation. He averaged 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game while appearing in all six first-round games against the Clippers.

Luka Doncic (right knee sprain/left ankle soreness) is also listed as questionable again, though it would be surprising to see Doncic sit out a closeout game. Doncic was a game-time decision on Sunday and wound up dominating with 33 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals in the 116-107 victory.

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