Mavs’ Doncic likely out for key stretch
The timing couldn’t be much worse for the Mavericks to be without star guard Luka Doncic.
The reigning rookie of the year sprained his right ankle in the opening minutes of a 122-118 overtime loss to the Heat on Saturday, the first of five straight games for the Mavericks against the teams that entered Sunday with the five best records in the Eastern Conference.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he didn’t expect Doncic to play in Monday’s road game against the Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. X-rays were negative. The Dallas Morning News reported that Doncic’s sprain was diagnosed as “moderate” and that he could return soon after Christmas.
Doncic leads the Mavericks in scoring (29.3), rebounding (9.6), assists (8.9) and steals (1.2).
Lakers win 7th straight: LeBron James scored 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and the Lakers extended their winning streak to seven with a 101-96 victory over the Hawks in Atlanta.
The Lakers pulled even with the idle Bucks for the NBA’s best record at 24-3.
Pelicans hit new low: Jonathan Isaac had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Magic beat Pelicans 130-119 in New Orleans.
It was the Pelicans’ franchise-record 12th straight loss.