Mavericks standout Luka Doncic aims to recover from a challenging Game 1 against the Thunder

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Luka Doncic gets up fom the ground

As the Oklahoma City prepared to host the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals Game 1, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault was asked about handling Luka Doncic’s physical playing style.

Daigneault jokingly replied that he just needed Lu Dort, their lockdown defender, to arrive on time for the game.

Dort not only arrived on time but also played a pivotal defensive role as the Thunder limited Doncic, the regular-season scoring leader, to 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting in their 117-95 victory.

Doncic has been dealing with a knee injury since the first round of the playoffs. While it might be affecting his performance, he refused to make excuses after Game 1.

However, Oklahoma City shouldn’t relax yet. Kyrie Irving is capable of scoring more and may take on a larger offensive role if Doncic struggles early in Game 2 on Thursday.

Luka Doncic grabbing the ball

Daigneault stated that they’re prepared if Irving decides to take charge offensively. Irving is averaging 25.6 points per game in the playoffs and scored 20 points in the opener against the Thunder.

Irving, who won a championship with Cleveland in 2016, downplayed the opening loss, emphasizing the need to adjust to their opponent.

Daigneault anticipates a tough Game 2, acknowledging the Mavericks’ experience and resilience.

Meanwhile, Boston’s Jayson Tatum also faced challenges in his Game 1 on Tuesday, but his teammates stepped up, leading to a 120-95 win over Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.


By James Brown

A passionate and driven individual currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Born on 06 February, hails from Raipur, where their journey into the world of technology and creativity began.

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