The 2018-19 Rookie of the Year, Luka Doncic, returned to the court after missing three consecutive games that resulted in defeats for Dallas. Before the game, an injury incurred during practice had pushed Doncic's status to questionable.
Against all odds, Luka returned to play for the Dallas Mavericks with a bang. The 22-year-old point guard dropped 26 points and flirted with a triple-double. His 9 assists, 9 rebounds and four three-pointers absolutely annihilated the LA Clippers. The Mavs came home with a 112-104 victory and their record improved to 10-7.
However, during the game, Luka Doncic picked up a technical foul after an altercation with Terance Mann. With 1:26 remaining in the first quarter, the Slovenian national posted Terance, overpowering him in the paint and taking the Mavs' score to 19. After making the shot, Doncic turned to Mann and said:
"You are too f**king small!"
This led to the referee giving Luka Doncic a technical foul.
Luka Doncic and the LA Clippers rivalry
This isn't the first time Doncic has had a spat with the Clippers. In the past, he has verbally fought Mann and others many times. The origin of the rivarly is plain and simple. The Clippers, in Luka's eyes, are the villains that have stopped him and his team advancing into the conference semi-finals twice in a row.
For a fierce competitor like the Slovenian, being denied passage to the road that subsequently leads to the NBA Finals must feel emasculating. Every time he meets them on the court, his desire to destroy Paul George and Co. shows.
The Mavs and Clippers are currently seeded 4th and 5th in the Western Conference respectively. If they can both continue to win and stay in the top eight teams in the West, they might meet again in the 2021-22 playoffs. There is no doubt that if such a series happens again, the fierce rivalry between the two teams will lead to entertaining basketball.
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The Dallas Mavericks meet the formidable Washington Wizards on Saturday. Luka Doncic, who is averaging 25 points, 8 assists and 8.4 rebounds per game, will be a crucial player in ensuring another victory for his team.