Luka Doncic facing suspension from Mavericks' season finale after 16th technical foul
The Dallas Mavericks are set to be without Luka Doncic for the final game of the season after their star lost his cool one too many times.
Doncic was assessed his 16th technical foul of the season on Friday during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Officials hit Doncic with the tech between the first and second quarter after he questioned them about the lack of a foul after getting hit on the shoulder on a heave at the buzzer.
Doncic can avoid the one-game suspension if the NBA rescinds the technical foul after the game.
Luka gets his 16th tech of the year 😅
He will be suspended for Mavs' season finale pic.twitter.com/0V9KndiOKo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 9, 2022
Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Doncic told a Mavericks public-relations staffer, “I asked him, ‘How is that not a foul? How is that not a foul?’ He T’d me up. That’s unfair. That’s unfair.”
Technical fouls have been a recurring issue for Doncic, who has garnered a reputation for frequently arguing with officials over fouls or lack thereof. He admitted it was a problem last season when he hit 15 techs, acknowledging he was "complaining way too much," per MacMahon:
"I realize it," Doncic said. "It's something that I'm not supposed to do. [It's difficult] with all the emotions in games, but obviously I've got to stop. It's just hard for me on the court with all the emotions, but I realize it and I've got to work on this. It's tough to do it, but I've got to work on it and be way better than this."
Doncic managed to avoid such a suspension after saying that last season, but was not so lucky this time.
Mavericks' finale could be important
The Mavericks' final game of the season is against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, and there are still some playoff implications remaining.
After finishing off the Blazers 128-78, the fourth-place Mavericks are a half-game back from the Golden State Warriors, who have games against the Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans remaining on their schedule. The Mavericks hold the tiebreaker against the Warriors.
Just as important, the Utah Jazz are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the No. 5 seed in the West after a catastrophic collapse against the Phoenix Suns on Friday (Utah has the tiebreaker), so both the third and fourth seeds and the fifth and sixth seeds in the West could swap depending on how the season plays out.