Report: Mavs' Luka Doncic Set to Play in Game 4 vs. Clippers Despite Neck Injury

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic, center, grabs the ball after referee Mark Lindsay (29) called a foul against center Willie Cauley-Stein in the second half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series again the Los Angeles Clippers in Dallas, Friday, May 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic will play in Sunday's Game 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers despite a neck strain.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Doncic will battle through the injury as the Mavericks attempt to go up 3-1 in the first-round series. 

Doncic has almost single-handedly lifted the Mavericks against the heavily favored Clippers, averaging a playoff-high 38.0 points through the first three games of the series. It's unclear if he will be limited by the injury, but the Mavericks' chances of advancing will be drastically reduced if Doncic is any less than 100 percent.

“It’s just weird,” Doncic told reporters of the injury. “I don’t know how you call it. It’s just some massage, some rest, and hopefully we’re good.”

Despite showing obvious signs of pain, Doncic remained effective in scoring 18 second-half points against the Clippers in Game 3. It'll be worth keeping tabs on how his shot looks early in the game and whether he's favoring his neck at all during timeouts.

The Mavericks have gotten next to nothing from Kristaps Porzingis in this series, so the onus will be on Doncic to carry the load whether he's physically capable or not.