Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, Suns’ Devin Booker go face-to-face in game’s final moments
Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker went head-to-head at the end of the Suns’ 130-126 win as things got heated between the two NBA stars on Sunday.
With six seconds left in the game, the Suns led 128-126 with the Mavericks in possession of the ball. Of course, for a shot of this magnitude to tie the game, it was up to Doncic.
But he couldn’t see it through the hoop as his four-foot layup went out and Kevin Durant scooped up the rebound to force a foul for a free throw to ice it.
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As Durant came down and Doncic fouled him, the latter couldn’t believe the shot didn’t go in. Donic also heard something Booker said, causing him to quickly get in his face before he needed to break away.
After a referee review, Doncic and Booker were hit with technical fouls that were offset. Durant eventually hit both free throws and won the game for Phoenix.
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When it was time for postgame interviews, both Doncic and Booker spoke to the situation as reporters were curious about what was said. Doncic noted that Booker was talking to him before that shot, but said he couldn’t divulge details or he could penalize himself or Booker.
However, he took a slight jab at the sun star.
“It’s a competitive game. It’s all good. Next time, don’t wait until there’s three seconds left to talk,” Doncic said.
According to ESPN, Booker was heard saying “shut the f–k up” after Doncic missed. Apparently, Booker taunted Doncic after the potential game-tying bucket.
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On the other hand, Booker said that he is talking to the referee.
“Not here to gossip,” he began when asked what was said. “We got some smoke. It’s just two competitors going at it. Everyone talks about how friendly the NBA is now and doesn’t like it. I don’t have a problem with Luke on or off the court. . But when we’re competing, we’re competing.”
The video also showed Kyrie Irving, who was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Mavericks before the NBA trade deadline, also going back and forth with Booker.
Both teams are currently in contention for the playoffs, with the Suns seeded fourth while Dallas is seeded seventh. So, this matchup could be one that’s seen down the road when it matters most.
Durant, who the Nets traded to the Suns last month, was the leading scorer for the game, dropping 37 points with seven rebounds and three assists in his 40 minutes of work. Booker matched that with nearly 36 of his own, also collecting a double-double with 10 assists.
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As for Doncic, he led Dallas with 34 points, nine boards and four assists, while Irving had 30 with seven assists and four rebounds.