Things got tough between two NBA stars on Sunday when Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker went head-to-head late in the Suns’ 130-game victory. -126.
With six seconds left in the game, the Suns led 128-126 with the Mavericks in possession of the ball. Of course, that a shot of this magnitude tied the game was in the hands of Doncic.
But he couldn’t see through the rim as his four-foot layup spilled over and Kevin Durant picked up the rebound to force a free-throw foul to ice him.
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When Durant went down and Doncic fouled him, the latter couldn’t believe the shot didn’t go in. Doncic also heard something Booker said, prompting him to quickly confront him before needing to be separated.
After review by the referee, Doncic and Booker received technical fouls which they offset. Durant ultimately made both free throws and won the game for Phoenix.
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When it came time for post-game interviews, both Doncic and Booker opened up about the situation as reporters were curious about what was being said. Doncic noted that Booker spoke to him before that shooting occurred, but said he couldn’t divulge the details or he or Booker could be fined.
However, he did take a light jab at the Suns star.
«It’s a competitive game. It’s all good. Next time, don’t wait until there are three seconds left to talk,» Doncic said.
According to ESPN, Doncic was heard saying «Shut the fuck up» to Booker after missing the layup. Booker apparently taunted Doncic after the potential game-tying pot.
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Booker, on the other hand, said he was talking to the referee.
«I’m not here to gossip,» he began when asked about what was said. «We have some smoke. It’s just two competitors. Everyone talks about how friendly the NBA is now and they don’t like that. I don’t have a problem with Luka on or off the court. But when we’re competing, we’re competing.»
The video also showed Kyrie Irving, who was traded to the Mavericks from the Brooklyn Nets before the NBA’s trade deadline, also going back and forth with Booker.
Both teams are playoff ready right now, with the Suns in the fourth seed while Dallas sits in the seventh seed. So this matchup could be one to be seen in the future when it matters most.
Durant, whom the Nets traded to the Suns last month, was the game’s leading scorer, with 37 points, seven rebounds and three assists in his 40 minutes on the job. Booker nearly matched it with 36 of his own, notching a double-double with 10 assists as well.
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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.