Mavericks star Luka Doncic fine after neck injury, will play vs. Grizzlies

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Though he was struggling to move it at all after getting hit on Thursday night, Luka Doncic’s neck is apparently good to go.

The Dallas Mavericks star was a full participant in practice on Saturday, coach Jason Kidd said, and he is expected to play on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“He did the whole practice,” Kidd said, via The Dallas Morning News. “He was great, was in a great mood. I think [he] had a great practice, so I think he looked good.”

Doncic went down late in the third quarter of Dallas’ 109-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday after landing directly on his back after taking a hit from Suns center Bismack Biyombo while driving to the rim. Doncic left the game and was seen in pain on the bench with a heating pack on his neck for the next several minutes.

He eventually returned to the game and played the final 7:25 of the fourth quarter.

“It’s my neck. It’s the spine,” Doncic said after the game, via ESPN. “When I fall down, I hit my back. It’s pretty sore right now … I think it’s a little worse because it’s the spine. But it’ll be OK in a couple days.”

Turns out, he was right.

Doncic nearly recorded his fourth triple-double this month alone on Thursday night. He dropped 28 points with eight assists and eight rebounds in the loss, which snapped a four-game win streak for the Mavericks. They have won eight of their last 10 headed into Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies. Doncic has averaged 25.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists so far this season, his fourth in Dallas.

Luka Doncic landed hard on his back and neck on Thursday night, but is expected to play Sunday against Memphis. (Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic landed hard on his back and neck on Thursday night, but is expected to play Sunday against Memphis. (Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
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