Dallas Mavericks point forward Luka Doncic’s birthday did not go well on-court, as the Mavs lost Friday night on the road against the Miami Heat. The first-time All-Star had an off-night as the ball kept slipping from his hands. Doncic did not make any of his six attempts from three and recorded six turnovers to boot. He eventually admitted to having a bad game afterward, saying he “played like sh—.”
Doncic: “Sorry for my language, but I played like (expletive).”
No need to apologize for your language, Luka. You’re 21 now! https://t.co/U4oZ3vGrSk
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 29, 2020
According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, Doncic played the game with a sprained thumb. The Slovenian superstar later said of his injury, “I couldn’t catch the ball. I didn’t know how important the thumb was to holding the ball.”
Despite the loss, the newly-minted 21-year-old finished with 23 points and 10 assists. Upon recovery, he will likely go back to putting on a usual show, with averages of 28.7 points, 9.6 assists, and 8.7 rebounds.
More notably, however, other Mavs players stepped up to close a double-digit deficit during the third quarter. A red hot Seth Curry recorded a career-high 37 points and missed only one of his nine attempts behind the arc. Kristaps Porzingis, meanwhile, poured in 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Miami, on the other hand, managed to hold off a breakdown following a Mavs run from a double-digit deficit to a late third-quarter lead. All-Star Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 26 points and 5 rebounds, while Duncan Robinson made six three-pointers to help seal the deal for his team.
The two teams are vying for the playoffs in their respective conferences. Mavs are eight games ahead of the tightly contested eighth spot in the West. Meanwhile, Miami is struggling to maintain the fourth seed despite Friday night’s win, losing seven out of their last ten games.