Mavericks star Luka Doncic needed three stitches to repair a laceration on his head suffered in a collision late in a 119-110 overtime loss to the Lakers on Friday night, but the team’s medical staff determined he did not have a concussion.
The laceration occurred when Doncic and Lakers center Dwight Howard collided while chasing a loose ball that was rebounded by Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith with 1 minute, 49 seconds remaining in regulation.
Doncic received treatment on the laceration from Casey Smith, the Mavs’ director of player health and performance, and iced his head during each of the three timeouts in the remainder of regulation. Doncic played the rest of the game with the exception of the final 6.4 seconds of regulation, when he was substituted out because of a defensive strategy.
“I felt a little bit weird a few minutes after the hit, but then it was OK,” said Doncic, who finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists in a thrilling duel with childhood idol LeBron James. “There was nothing to worry about. … It was a little headache. I had a little headache for a few minutes, but then it was over. I put some ice on it, and it was better.”
Doncic said he was twice evaluated for a concussion — once on the bench and again after the game.
The NBA’s concussion policy states that a player suspected of having a concussion or exhibiting any related signs or symptoms will be “removed from participation by either a team physician or the player’s team athletic trainer and undergo evaluation in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.”
Doncic, who drove the lane and dished to Finney-Smith for a go-ahead 3-pointer two possessions after the collision, said leaving the game was not a consideration.
“Everybody knows I want to play in overtime,” Doncic said. “I wanted to play, in any case. I wanted to end the game.”
The play on which the collision occurred was one of several no-calls that upset Doncic and the Mavs.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Tim MacMahon