Storyline: Luka Doncic Injury

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The Mavericks on Sunday departed Dallas, without Luka Doncic, to face a Milwaukee team that has won 18 straight games and 22 of its last 23. Even so, the Mavericks as a franchise breathed a collective sigh of relief. The right ankle sprain that Doncic suffered Saturday night was diagnosed, according to a Mavericks source, as “moderate.” The source told The News that Doncic almost certainly will miss Dallas’ four games leading into Christmas, but might be able to return soon after that.

Luka Doncic has moderate ankle sprain

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic sustained a moderate right ankle sprain Saturday in the opening minutes of Dallas’ 122-118 overtime loss to the Miami Heat, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. X-rays on the ankle were negative, the team said. “We hope it’s not serious,” said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who added that he does not expect Doncic to be available Monday night for a road game against the Milwaukee Bucks. “That’s about all that we have for you now.”

Doncic is 20. He has missed only five games this season for a Mavericks team that is 29-46 and, like the Lakers, out of playoff contention. While the Mavericks worked out Saturday at their practice facility before flying to Oklahoma City, Doncic spent much of the time on a stationary bicycle. Carlisle said he closely watched on tape the play on which Doncic got his knee and thigh banged. “It was a direct hit, really painful at first,” Carlisle said. “And then the adrenaline and 2,000 Slovenian people [in the stands] and he was able to finish the game, but he was not moving great.
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