Mavericks hope Doncic injury is not serious

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Luka Doncic, 19, has Ben Simmons' vote in this season's Rookie of the Year race.
Luka Doncic, 19, has Ben Simmons' vote in this season's Rookie of the Year race.

Luka Doncic injured his knee in the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday and coach Rick Carlisle hopes it is not serious.

Rookie of the Year frontrunner Doncic hurt himself in grabbing an uncontested rebound and limped off the court for a timeout with just over four minutes left in the final quarter.

The Slovenian guard remained in the game but was unable to get up the final shot as the Mavericks fell to a 94-93 defeat against the in-form Rockets.

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Doncic attracted three defenders and passed to Jalen Brunson, but Chris Paul came up with a game-winning block for Houston.

The Mavericks slipped to 27-39 for the season and Carlisle was hopeful Doncic had not done any serious damage.

"I don't know if he banged his knee or he landed on it funny, but the hope is that it's not serious. He did finish the game, so we'll see. We'll know more [on Monday]," he said.

Doncic, who recorded his 17th double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds, initially said his knee was good before expanding on the situation.

"I just jumped and got a rebound and I felt like a pop, so we'll see," he said.

Despite playing through injury in the closing minutes, Doncic drew praise from Rockets duo James Harden and Paul.

"He's great. Not only does he have the ability to score the basketball but he's a great passer as well," said Harden.

"He uses his body very well, rebounds the ball, he does a lot of things to impact the game. With this only being his first year, he's got a long way to go but he's definitely having a great start."

Paul added of Doncic: "Rookie of the Year, definitely. He's probably the frontrunner. Trae [Young] has been playing really well too. Both of them are great players and they will be for a long time."

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