NBA regular season

Luka Doncic leaves after scary fall, Mavs still beat Pelicans

Luka Doncic leaves after scary fall, Mavs still beat Pelicans

SIDELINED. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic waits for play to resume against the Pelicans.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Luka Doncic fires 31 points before exiting in the second half due to an injury as the Mavericks still hold on against the Pelicans

Dallas star Luka Doncic left due to a bruised right heel during the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 111-106 victory over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, February 2 (Friday, February 3, Manila time).

Doncic got hurt when he fell awkwardly while driving the lane for a dunk attempt with 7:12 left in the third quarter. Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram blocked the shot as Doncic collided with Jonas Valanciunas.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and have a better update to give you,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said postgame.

Doncic went back out for one possession before leaving for the locker room.

Doncic finished with 31 points and 8 rebounds in 23 minutes. He was averaging 33.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.3 assists entering the game.

The Dallas superstar scored 21 points as the Mavericks took a 40-22 lead after one quarter. He scored 6 in the second quarter and had four in the third, when he landed awkwardly after his shot was blocked by Ingram. 

After trying to play a bit longer, Doncic went to the locker room for good with what the team called a right heel contusion.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points, Josh Green added 15, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 for Dallas, which was outscored, 52-30, after Doncic’s injury.

Ingram scored 26, CJ McCollum added 19, Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Naji Marshall scored 11 and Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who fell below .500 for the first time this season.

Finney-Smith started the third-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas a 30-point lead before the Pelicans chipped away, reducing the deficit to 95-76 at the end of the period.

New Orleans got within nine points with four minutes remaining, but Green hit a three-pointer to make it 106-94.

Ingram had three baskets and an assist during a 10-2 run that pulled the Pelicans within 108-104 with 57 seconds left. He made another jumper to trim the deficit to 109-106, but Dinwiddie made two free throws to seal the win.

Doncic made his first four field-goal attempts and had nine points as the Mavs took a 12-4 lead.

The Pelicans closed within four points before Doncic led a surge that gave Dallas a 21-point lead with two minutes left in the first. Nance beat the buzzer with a dunk that pulled New Orleans within 40-22 at the end of the quarter.

Jose Alvarado and Marshall had baskets that pulled New Orleans within 16 points early in the second quarter, but that was the closest the Pelicans got in the quarter.

Dallas took its biggest lead, 62-31, on a three-point play by Dinwiddie before Ingram scored six points down the stretch to trim the deficit to 70-43 at halftime. –

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