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#pounditMonday, June 24, 2024

Report offers update on Dereck Lively’s neck injury following scary play

Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively on the floor holding his head

Dallas Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II suffered a frightening injury during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night, and his status going forward remains in question.

Lively was injured while battling for a rebound early in the second quarter of the Mavericks’ 116-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. T-Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns inadvertently kneed Lively in the back of the head as the latter was falling to the floor. You can see the video here.

Lively laid motionless while holding onto the back of his head for over a minute, but he eventually got to his feet. He left the arena to be taken for a neck evaluation. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, tests did not reveal any serious issues but it is unclear if Lively will be able to play in Game 4.

Lively has played a significant role in the Mavericks’ postseason run. The former Duke star has averaged 8.5 points and 7.1 rebounds off the bench while serving as a solid rim protector.

With the Mavericks up 3-0 on Minnesota, there is no need to rush Lively back. They could play it safe with the 20-year-old in anticipation of needing him in the NBA Finals.

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