Is Luka Doncic Playing Tonight vs. Timberwolves? Latest on All-Star's Status

Mavericks face tough decisions regarding Luka Doncic's health.

by Nouman Rasool
Is Luka Doncic Playing Tonight vs. Timberwolves? Latest on All-Star's Status
© Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Luka Doncic's availability for tonight's matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves hangs in the balance, raising questions about his potential absence from the court. The Mavericks find themselves in the midst of a back-to-back game scenario, a taxing situation that often necessitates careful consideration of player health and stamina.

In their recent game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Doncic faced a daunting challenge, playing 36 minutes despite being listed as questionable prior to the game. The contest against the Cavaliers proved to be a rollercoaster for Doncic and the Mavericks.

Holding a commanding 15-point lead with less than five minutes remaining, the Mavericks suffered a shocking reversal of fortune as the Cavaliers orchestrated a remarkable comeback, securing a 113-110 victory. Doncic, who rejoined the game during this pivotal stretch, faced substantial struggles on the court, making just two of seven attempts.

His final statistics for the night showcased his remarkable talent, with 39 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, all while shooting at a respectable 48.3% clip. However, the fourth-quarter collapse overshadowed his individual performance.

Doncic's Lingering Quad Injury

Doncic's recent quad injury has raised concerns about his ability to consistently take the court. This ailment has lingered, featuring on the injury report leading up to the game against the Cavaliers as well as the December 22 clash with the Houston Rockets, which he ultimately missed.

In total, Doncic has sat out two games this season, reflecting the Mavericks' cautious approach to managing his physical well-being. In past encounters with the Timberwolves, Doncic has exhibited his prowess, boasting an 8-6 record against this Western Conference rival.

His averages of 24.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, along with shooting splits of 44/27/74, reflect his consistency against this opponent. Their most recent showdown on December 14 saw Doncic amass 39 points, six rebounds, and 13 assists, albeit accompanied by eight turnovers, in a 119-101 loss.

The Timberwolves, currently holding a 22-7 record, enter this matchup as favorites, especially if Doncic is sidelined. The Mavericks are already grappling with absences, notably Kyrie Irving and Josh Green, making them underdogs in this clash.

Considering Doncic's recent workload and the importance of maintaining his long-term conditioning, the Mavericks may opt to rest him, particularly in light of their underdog status. Doncic, a four-time All-Star known for his competitiveness, may be inclined to play.

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