Doncic exits with calf injury, as Mavericks top Spurs, but settle for No. 4 seed in West

2022-04-11 04:03
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic scored 26 points despite sitting the entire fourth quarter, leading the Dallas Mavericks (52-30) to a 130-120 win over the visiting San Antonio Spurs (34-48) on Sunday on the final day of the NBA's regular season.

Doncic headed straight to the team's locker room after being injured; the Mavs announced shortly afterward that he had suffered a left calf strain and would not return to the game. 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there is "initial optimism" in Dallas regarding Doncic's injury. Wojnarowski also reported that team does not believe the injury is significant.

Player of the Game
Luka  Doncic
Luka Doncic
Points 26
Accuracy 8-18
Rebounds 8
Assists 9

Doncic was involved in a mid-air knee-on-knee collision with Spurs big man Zach Collins in the closing moments of the third quarter. The All-Star guard landed fine, but after taking a step, he clearly was in pain. He immediately went to the Mavs' locker room and did not return to the game.

The Mavericks' win proved inconsequential after Golden State walloped New Orleans on Sunday to clinch the third seed in the West. Dallas (52-30) could have climbed to third with a victory and a Golden State loss -- instead the Mavericks finished fourth and will face fifth-seeded Utah in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas blew open a game that was tied 59-59 at halftime and at 66-66 with 8:50 to play in the third period with Dorian Finney-Smith scoring all 16 of his points in the quarter and Jalen Brunson hitting for 10, allowing the Mavericks to carry a 97-82 lead into the final 12 minutes.

The Spurs (34-48) had little to play for in the season-finale after having secured the 10th seed in the West and a spot in the play-in tournament at New Orleans on Wednesday. The winner of the San Antonio-New Orleans game will face the loser of the Minnesota-Los Angeles Clippers game to see who will face top-seeded Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs.

Jalen Brunson added 18 points for the Mavericks, Theo Pinson had 16 and Dwight Powell hit for 12 points for Dallas, which will carry a four-game winning streak into the postseason.

Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 24 points in the loss, with Josh Richardson scoring 18, Dejounte Murray adding 17, Devin Vassell contributing 15 points, and Jakob Poeltl and Tre Jones hitting for 12 points each. San Antonio has dropped three straight games entering the play-in tourney.

Murray returned after missing the past five games with an upper-respiratory illness.

The Spurs led 29-28 at the end of the first quarter. The game flip-flopped through the second period with eight lead changes and neither team earning more than a four-point advantage. Doncic had 11 points in the period, including the jumper with 47.6 seconds left to tie the game at 59-59 at the break.

Doncic led all scorers in the half with 18 points, while Vassell and Johnson paced the Spurs with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

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