Luka Doncic nearing return?

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Shams Charania: Sources: There’s optimism Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will return for Game 3 (Thursday) or Game 4 (Saturday) vs. Jazz. The calf strain that Doncic suffered on April 10 is improving and workouts over next two days could determine comeback timing.
Source: Twitter @ShamsCharania

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Sources: There’s optimism Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will return for Game 3 (Thursday) or Game 4 (Saturday) vs. Jazz. The calf strain that Doncic suffered on April 10 is improving and workouts over next two days could determine comeback timing. – 4:17 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
“[That’s] the beautiful part about Maxi in this series.”
“It’s big time.”
“We’re going to need him.”
“Jesus … Jesus!”
How Maxi Kleber — after his 3-pointer show in Game 2 — is Mavs’ key to flummoxing Rudy Gobert and Jazz defense without Luka Doncic: dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…3:12 PM

Alan Hahn @alanhahn
In two playoff games without Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson (40 points last night) is averaging 32.5 ppg, 7.5 rebs, 5.0 assists and just 1.0 TO (two in 83 total minutes) and shooting 49/54/77. 👀 – 7:34 AM

Ryan McDonald @ryanwmcdonald
Mavericks’ belief they can eliminate Jazz without Luka Doncic bolstered by Game 2 win https://t.co/tlX5klzPL6 pic.twitter.com/TvkSdHFWFO1:46 AM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
From @Brad Townsend: Injury parallels between Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki, and The Question the Mavs must now answer dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…1:17 AM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
No Luka Doncic? No problem in Mavs’ series-tying, 3-point-flying Game 2 comeback thriller vs. Jazz dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…1:16 AM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
No Luka Doncic? No problem in Mavs’ series-tying, 3-point-flying Game 2 comeback thriller vs. Jazz dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…1:06 AM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Jalen Brunson steps up without Luka Doncic, scores 41 to lead Mavericks over Jazz in Game 2 nba.nbcsports.com/2022/04/19/jal…12:56 AM

Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
Mavs are now 5-1 in G2 in their last 6 series.
Jason Kidd won the 1st G2 of his playoff coaching career (Was 0-4)
Mavs now 2-9 in clutch games w/o Luka.
Mavs tied PHX w/17 wins in reg season trailing by 10+
Trailed by 10 tonight. Utah led NBA with 16 losses when leading by 10 – 12:32 AM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Injury parallels between Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki, and The Question the Mavs must now answer dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…12:30 AM

Mark Followill @MFollowill
With 41 points tonight, Jalen Brunson set a career high for regular season or postseason. He joined Dirk (7 times), Luka (5 times), Ro Blackman (2 times) and Nick Van Exel (once) as Mavs with 40+ plus points in a playoff game. – 12:13 AM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Maxi Kleber after Mavs’ double-digit comeback to tie series without Luka Doncic: “Big time, big time, big time. I mean, everybody came together. We fought.” – 12:12 AM

Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
Brunson became Luka. Kleber turned into Dirk. Mavs tie the series. – 12:08 AM

Steve Luhm @sluhm
Don’t see how failing to beat Dallas twice without Doncic is anything but a massive ‘L’ for the Jazz. Still, they are now in a best-of-five series with home court advantage, Luka or no Luka. – 11:34 PM

Ben Rohrbach @brohrbach
If Utah’s guards are the reason why Rudy Gobert escapes blame for Dallas’ Luka Doncic-less small-ball offense destroying the Jazz, that’s a pretty argument for Marcus Smart’s DPOY case. – 11:10 PM

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
The problem for Utah now is that there are five days until Game 4, and the most they can be up is one game on Dallas by that point. That’s a lot of time for Luka to get healthy. – 11:02 PM

Josh Newman @Joshua_Newman
TIRED: The Jazz got what they needed, a road split.
WIRED: The Mavs got what they needed, a split without Luka Doncic. – 11:01 PM

Tony Mejia @MejiaDinero
Embarrassing loss for the Jazz. Mike Conley had a brutal night, Maxi Kleber couldn’t miss and Jalen Brunson outplayed everyone, scoring 41. Buys Luka time to take another game off if he needs it. Utah is suspect. The Jazz are nowhere close to being the team they were last season. – 11:01 PM

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen
Mavs get Game 2 without Doncic, 110-104. In the end, the Jazz’s perimeter D let them down in a big way, especially in the 4Q.
Jalen Brunson: 21 points. Maxi Kleber 25 points.
Mitchell had 34, Bogdanovic 25.
Back to Utah with a 1-1 series tie, and Mavs have significant hope. – 10:56 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Wow. What a win for the Mavs.
Series tied at 1. Luka Doncic is pumping his fists. Nodding his head. Clearly as pumped as the 20,000-plus rocking in AAC. – 10:55 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
List of Mavs players with a 40-point playoff game:
— Luka Doncic
— Dirk Nowitzki
— Nick Van Exel
— Rolando Blackman
And now, Jalen Brunson. pic.twitter.com/YMaeZ6mwka10:55 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Doncic is beside himself. Kleber is on 🔥, 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting, all 3-pointers, and Doncic is loving it. – 10:46 PM

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson
Jalen Brunson is going nuts. 36 and counting. Mavs down 2 with seven minutes left. Would be huge for them to win one of these at home without Doncic. – 10:34 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Jalen Brunson, No. 33 overall pick in the same draft that Luka Doncic went No. 3 overall, is up to 36 points for Dallas in this must-win Game 2.
Utah clings to a 93-91 lead with 7:22 to go.
More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com
And via @BallySportsSW … – 10:33 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Three 3s from the kid from Wurzburg* keep Dallas in it … but Utah takes an 81-77 lead into the fourth quarter of Game 2 seeking a 2-0 series lead over the Luka-less Mavs.
*Meant Maxi Kleber, of course … – 10:22 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Jalen Brunson might be making Luka Doncic jealous over on the bench. He’s up to 31 points midway through the third quarter. He’s hit 6-of-8 from 3-point range. – 10:04 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Knicks came to Dallas one game too early. The two guys they wanted to see — Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell — have 21 points each at halftime.
Jazz up 55-48 at the half and worryingly so for the Luka-less hosts: 28-13 on the boards and 1-0 already in the series. – 9:42 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Luka Doncic might get a tech for arguing with refs before he even plays a minute in this series … and after the last few mins of officiating, he’d have a point. – 9:28 PM

J. Kyle Mann @jkylemann
man why did luka have to get hurt – 9:12 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
An itching-to-play Luka Doncic has hoisted a 3, flipped in a layup and kept the ball in his hands for some bonus dribbling throughout this stoppage of play in Game 2 while they’ve gone to commercial. Safe to say he is eager to get back to game action … – 8:59 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Luka Doncic just came out of the timeout and grabbed the ball and shot a 3-pointer. It’s better than griping at the refs, which most of the other Mavericks are doing right now. They lead 21-18 with Jazz going to the line. – 8:58 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Luka who? Brunson has 15 of Dallas’ 18 points. Gonna need some help, quick. – 8:55 PM

Tas Melas @TasMelas
Jaylen Brunson to Luka: I got this. pic.twitter.com/fb5MooJC578:49 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
What snack will Luka Doncic break out on the bench for Game 2?
Wrong answers only.
📸: @TomFoxPhoto pic.twitter.com/vAxe8g8B068:26 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
A row of young fans watched Luka Doncic’s entire warm-up (and cheered every make), and he gave them more than a couple waves.
Good on ya, @Luka Doncic. These kids were so thrilled. pic.twitter.com/8QieQyUiWc7:48 PM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Luka Doncic isn’t playing tonight, but he made two fans really happy. pic.twitter.com/mUNkmgcaOn7:47 PM

Mark Followill @MFollowill
Certainly a step forward compared to the warm-up window before Game 1, Luka is doing some light on-court work on the AAC floor before Game 2 tonight. pic.twitter.com/1v5nQmpchy7:44 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Luka, from just beyond the free-throw line, getting in some pregame work at a game he will not play in. pic.twitter.com/qRi3nVYtaY7:36 PM

David Locke @DLocke09
Luka Doncic pre game work pic.twitter.com/EdYjn0t1b57:35 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Luka Doncic is out on the AAC court during what would be his usual warm-up window, but he’s not doing much beyond casual dribbling, waving at young fans and chatting with the homies. pic.twitter.com/oZMXMiHzbd7:26 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Jason Kidd on Luka Doncic, who’s out for Game 2 vs. Jazz tonight: “A lot of times when you’re hurt, you can be grumpy or frustrated, but he’s not, so we’ll just hope that he continues to be able to do more as each day goes by.”
dallasnews.com/sports/maveric…7:01 PM

Eddie Sefko @ESefko
Luka will not play tonight. Continues to progress. Says Jason Kidd. – 6:52 PM

Mark Followill @MFollowill
Confirmed that Luka is out for Game 2. Jason Kidd said in his pregame media availability that he is continuing to make progress. – 6:52 PM

Dwain Price @DwainPrice
Jason Kidd just said Luka will not play tonight, but he continues to make progress. – 6:51 PM

JD Shaw @JShawNBA
Mavs star Luka Doncic (left calf strain) is out for Game 2 against the Jazz, team says. – 6:51 PM

Tim Cato @tim_cato
jason kidd says luka doncic won’t play tonight. i am the only person who is going to tweet this. – 6:51 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Dallas Mavericks officially rule out Luka Doncic for Game 2 vs the Utah Jazz – 6:51 PM

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic (calf) will not play in Game 2 tonight against the Utah Jazz. – 6:50 PM

Chuck Cooperstein @coopmavs
Per JKidd. Luka officially out – 6:50 PM

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Jason Kidd says Luka Doncic will not play in tonight’s Game 2 “but continues to progress.” – 6:50 PM

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan
Jason Kidd says Luka Doncic will not play Game 2 tonight vs. Jazz but “continues to progress.” – 6:50 PM

Andy Larsen @andyblarsen
Luka Doncic officially will not play tonight, Jason Kidd says. – 6:50 PM

Brad Townsend @townbrad
Doncic will not play, Kidd confirms. – 6:50 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
Luka Dončić (left calf strain) has been officially ruled OUT of tonight’s Game 2 against visiting Utah, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said this morning.
More series coverage from me via @BallySportsSW
More NBA writing from me: marcstein.Substack.com6:50 PM

Ryan Miller @millerjryan
Jason Kidd makes it official: Luka Doncic is out for Game 2. – 6:50 PM

David Locke @DLocke09
Luka Doncic is out for Game #2 of Utah Jazz v. Dallas Mavericks – 6:50 PM

Eric Walden @tribjazz
Luka Doncic remains OUT for Game 2 of Mavs-Jazz tonight, per Dallas coach Jason Kidd. – 6:50 PM

More on this storyline

Callie Caplan: Spencer Dinwiddie on tying the series without Luka Doncic: “We buy him time. It’s not rocket science. We want to have him back as quickly and safely and health-ily as possible, but we’re still trying to win the series, regardless.” -via Twitter @CallieCaplan / April 19, 2022

Sources told ESPN that there is hope Doncic will play at some point in the series, but it would be premature to predict when he will be ready to return from the strained left calf he suffered during the April 10 regular-season finale. Kidd said Monday morning that Doncic “is definitely going in the right direction,” and the two-time first-team All-NBA selection went through an extended pregame shooting workout without putting much stress on the calf by pushing off of that leg. -via ESPN / April 19, 2022

Marc Stein on Luka Doncic: To this point, I haven’t gotten the vibe that he was out for the series. I’ve never gotten the vibe that this was as grave a situation as the calf strain that we all talked about with Kevin Durant in the 2019 playoffs. -via marcstein.substack.com / April 19, 2022