Report: Luka Doncic Out for Game 3; Mavs G Expected to Return from Injury for Game 4

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 21, 2022

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, center, reacts in the closing seconds of a win over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 18, 2022, in Dallas. Doncic did not play in the game as he is recovering from a left calf strain. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is out for Thursday's Game 3 matchup with the Utah Jazz, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wojnarowski had previously said there's "significant pessimism" surrounding Doncic's status despite the fact that the All-Star said he's "feeling great" after a post-shootaround workout.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported the plan is for the Mavericks guard to play in Game 4 on Saturday.

Doncic missed the first two games of the first-round series after he suffered a calf strain in the Mavericks' regular-season finale. 

"We'll see how he feels at game time," Mavs coach Jason Kidd told reporters after the shootaround.

The fourth-seeded Mavericks managed to split the first two games, thanks in large part to a heroic 41-point effort from Jalen Brunson in Game 2. While they've been competitive despite being undermanned through two games, it's unlikely Dallas can win a best-of-seven series against a largely healthy Jazz team unless Doncic gets back on the floor.

That said, all parties understand that Doncic's long-term health is paramount—especially to a team that's unlikely to make a Finals run even if he's 100 percent.

"He is a player that has so much ahead of him in his future, so him being smart about it is key," Brunson said. "I think it just shows the trust that he has in us as well. He trusts us. He's just making the best decision for himself. As teammates, we respect that."