Report: Mavericks Optimistic That Luka Doncic Will Return In Game 3 Or 4

Apr 19, 2022, 2:41 PM
Luka Doncic vs. Jazz - Game 2...
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts as the Dallas Mavericks take the lead against the Utah Jazz late in the fourth quarter of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 18, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly optimistic that star guard Luka Doncic could return to the lineup for Game 3 or 4 of the NBA Playoffs against the Jazz.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, there is optimism that Mavericks star Luka Doncic will make his 2022 NBA Playoff debut against the Jazz at some point in Salt Lake City.

Charania’s sources indicate that the calf strain that Doncic suffered in the regular season finale has improved. The workouts over the next two days leading up to Game 3 will determine when the superstar will return to the team and play in the series.

The Jazz won Game 1 on Saturday, 99-93 after Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points, including 30 in the second half. Utah fell to the Mavericks 110-104 in Game 2 on Monday night. Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 41 points, while Maxi Kleber added 25 points off the bench, including 8-of-11 shooting from the three-point line.

Prior to the postseason opener, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the injury could seriously impact Doncic’s availability to open the series.

“I’m told this is more than just a mild calf strain,” Wojnarowski said. “The Mavericks are very much preparing for the possibility of not only maybe not having him in game one, but maybe even game two.”

The Mavericks are 9-10 in games this season when playing without Doncic, and just 2-9 against playoff opponents including Saturday’s loss to open the series.

Doncic was the NBA’s third-leading scorer during the regular season and fifth-leading assist man.

Game 3 will be on Thursday, April 21 at 7:00 PM MT and can be heard on KSL Newsradio and The Zone Sports Network. The game will be televised on NBATV, AT&T SportsNet and FuboTV.

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