Luka Doncic Ruled Out for Mavericks vs. Rockets with Ankle Injury

Doric SamJanuary 7, 2022

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic's ankle remains a problem for the two-time All-Star.

Acting head coach Sean Sweeney announced Doncic will miss Friday's game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. 

This will mark the 15th game Doncic has missed this season. He recently sat out 10 straight games from Dec. 10 to 31. 

Doncic entered the NBA's health and safety protocols Dec. 22. He had already missed five consecutive games because of a sore ankle. The 22-year-old played in each of Dallas' past three games, but he didn't look quite right with a 40.0 percent success rate on field goals and 5.3 turnovers per contest. 

The Mavs did win each of those three games, including a 99-82 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Doncic is Dallas' most important offensive player. He leads the team with 25.0 points and 8.8 assists per game. He's tied with Kristaps Porzingis for the team lead in rebound average (8.0). The Mavericks are 5-9 this season without him in the lineup. 

Despite his production, Doncic has struggled with his weight and conditioning this season. He noted he came into the year out of shape after competing for Slovenia in the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Doncic was a first-team All-NBA selection in each of the last two seasons. The fourth-year star has career averages of 25.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists.

While Doncic has been sidelined, point guard Jalen Brunson has been a solid replacement. The Villanova product is in the midst of a career year with 16.0 points and 5.5 assists per game in 37 appearances (19 starts).

Doncic's absence opens up opportunities for role players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith.