Luka Doncic exits Game 3 after trying to play through ankle sprain

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) grabs his left leg after being injured during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Luka Doncic tried to play through an ankle sprain. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

Say this for Luka Doncic, he seems to have a pretty high pain tolerance.

The Dallas Mavericks superstar suffered a nasty-looking ankle sprain in the third quarter of Game 3 on Friday, eventually hopping to the locker room while putting no weight on his left leg. Further replay showed him severely turning his left ankle.

And then he came back.

The Slovenian 21-year-old was back on the court minutes by the start of the fourth quarter, announced to be available despite an ankle sprain. He was clearly a different player upon returning, focusing more on distributing the ball and catch-and-shoots, but it was still a sight to see.

The pain seemed to eventually be too much for Doncic, though. He exited the game again and did not return that time. He was later seen back on the Mavericks bench with his ankle heavily taped up.

While Doncic wasn’t able to do much in his three minutes back on the court, he was still able to get the last assist he needed for a 13-point triple double, the first of his career in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers eventually won 130-122 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Could Luka Doncic miss Game 4?

After the game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that the team doesn’t yet know the severity of Doncic’s injury and will know more on Saturday.

Carlisle added that he didn’t think the injury got worse because Doncic tried to return. He also appeared to hint that Game 4 could be in question for Doncic, which is bad news for a Mavs team trying to avoid falling behind 3-1 against the Clippers.

Meanwhile, Doncic downplayed the injury and said he would undergo an MRI on Saturday. He noted the injury wasn’t on the ankle where he has encountered problems in the past.

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