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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Luka Doncic criticizes officials after Game 3 loss

Luka Doncic in his Mavericks uniform

May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during game three between the Clippers and the Mavericks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of being swept in the NBA Finals, and Luka Doncic seems to believe the officiating crew in Game 3 was partially to blame.

The Mavericks are down 3-0 to the Boston Celtics after losing 106-99 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Doncic was unable to finish the game, as he fouled out with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. He complained about the officiating during his postgame press conference.

Doncic held his hands up to demonstrate the guarding position he was in when he was called for his sixth foul.

“I don’t want to say nothing, but six fouls in the NBA Finals?” Doncic asked. “I’m like this? Come on, man. (Be) better than that.”

Doncic was playing with five fouls when he stepped in front of Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown in transition. He was called for a blocking foul. Dallas challenged, but the referees determined that Doncic had not established a legal guarding position and thus upheld the foul call. You can see the video here.

The Mavericks were only trailing 93-90 at the time and mounting a comeback, so the foul was costly.

Doncic has not played well defensively in the NBA Finals. He has looked a step slow most of the time, which could be due to the fact that he is battling through so many injuries.

Dallas has also scored fewer than 100 points in each of the three NBA Finals games, so a handful of bad calls have not been the difference in the series. The Celtics led by 21 at one point during Game 3 and have been dominant. Doncic is probably more frustrated about that than anything.

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