Doncic to miss Mavericks' season finale against Spurs

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  • Editor's note: The NBA rescinded Luka Doncic's 16th technical on Saturday, making him eligible for the season finale. This story was published on Friday.

The Warriors’ odds of locking up the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference are looking stronger by the minute with a little help from Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic. 

Doncic, a three-time NBA All-Star, picked up his 16th technical of the regular season in the Dallas' 128-78 blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, effectively ruling him out for the Mavericks’ season-finale against the San Antonio Spurs. Dallas currently sits half a game behind the Warriors for the third seed in the West. 

The call came at the end of the first quarter on a half-court attempt at the buzzer that Doncic argued he was fouled on. He continued to plead his case on the sidelines and ultimately was awarded a technical by Tony Brothers, a 27-year veteran referee of the NBA. 

Doncic paced Dallas in the win over the Blazers at American Airlines Center. He led all scorers with 39 points – 25 of which came in the third quarter – 11 rebounds and seven assists. 

This was Doncic’s 16th technical of the season, resulting in an automatic suspension for the following regular season game. Technical fouls reset to zero in the playoffs, but seven technicals in a single postseason trigger the same one-game suspension. 

Doncic narrowly avoided this fate last season when the league office rescinded one of his 16 technical fouls. Barring the NBA league office overruling the technical, Doncic will miss Sunday’s matchup against the Spurs. 

San Antonio won seven of its last nine games and passed the Los Angeles Lakers for the final spot in the 2022 NBA Play-In Tournament. The Spurs currently sit two games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 9 seed. 

Before Gregg Popovich’s team takes on the Mavericks, however, it’s gearing up to host the Warriors on Saturday. Depending on the outcome of Saturday’s game, Golden State could continue to hold the fate of the Spurs’ seeding as they face New Orleans in the season finale. 

How could this all play out in the standings?

If the Warriors lose one of those next two games against the Spurs and Pelicans and the Mavericks win their final game against the Spurs, Dallas would jump Golden State for the third spot as they own the head-to-head matchup 3-1. Anything less and Golden State will retain the upper hand in the standings.

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