Fresh blow for Luka Doncic as he is suspended for the next Dallas Mavericks game after picking up his 16th technical foul in Charlotte Hornets defeat
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic picked up his 16th technical foul of the season on Sunday and now faces a one-game suspension.
Unless the NBA office rescinds the technical, Doncic will be forced to sit out the team’s game on Monday night against against the Indiana Pacers.
Doncic had been chirping at officials for most of Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets and finally got slapped with a technical midway through the third quarter of a tightly contested game.
The 24-year-old scored 40 points in 40 minutes in the 104-110 loss. The Mavericks have now lost their last two games against the Hornets, first playing in Dallas before taking it back to Charlotte.
Doncic’s suspension could prove costly for the free-falling Mavs, who entered the day tied with Oklahoma City for 10th in the Western Conference standings but still are out of position for a play-in tournament spot because the Thunder hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Mavericks.
TIPPING POINT: Luka Doncic earned his 16th technical foul against the Hornets on Sunday, which automatically qualifies him for a one-game suspension from the NBA
Doncic, 24, also had words with fans sitting courtside after Sunday’s 104-110 loss to Charlotte
After the Mavericks fell to the Hornets in the first of back-to-back matchups on Friday night, Doncic cut a dejected figure in his postgame press conference – and said he’s been frustrated for ‘a lot of reasons’ including issues in his personal life.
Sunday’s loss was also the fourth straight defeat for the Mavs, who were in pole to reach the playoffs throughout most of this season, up until the NBA’s trade deadline in February.
The team traded key role players Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie for one-time NBA champion Kyrie Irving, who was on the Brooklyn Nets at the time.
‘It’s really frustrating. I think you can see it with me on the court,’ Doncic said after putting up 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the 117-109 home loss on Friday.
‘Sometimes I don’t feel it’s me, just being out there. I used to have more fun, smiling on [the] court. But it’s just been so frustrating for a lot of reasons, not just basketball.’
When asked what was going on off the court, Doncic didn’t go into specifics but said there was ‘a lot going on.’
The star’s comments from last week should be worrisome, not only for this season, but for potential years to come, as Doncic could be starting to feel the tipping point in Dallas. The lack of help in a middle market team like the Mavs, who’ve struggled to attracts stars over the years, doesn’t help.
Dallas has now won only four out of its last 12 games in March.
What makes matters worse is that, since trading for Irving, the Mavs have only won six out of their 19 games. Mark Cuban’s team has now dropped to 11th place in the West and faces a fight to even qualify for the play-in tournament, with seven games remaining.
This was not the way the Mavs envisioned their season going.
The team’s trade for Irving on February 5 was supposed to create arguably the league’s best offensive backcourt – but that move has now had a reverse effect.
Irving, himself, had a 18-point performance against the Hornets on Sunday.