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Another loss is weighing heavy on the Dallas Mavericks. Sunday’s trip to Atlanta to face off against the Hawks ended in disappointment for the playoff-in-desperate Mavs.
Stuck in a chase for the West’s play-in tournament as the 11th seed, the Mavericks have fallen short of expectations with a late-season fumble that will ultimately cost them a trip to the postseason.
Going 1-7 in their last eight games, the Mavericks needed to win against Atlanta on Sunday. From the jump, Atlanta was in the Mavericks players’ heads, including star guard Luka Doncic.
Hawks fans at Phillips Arena poked fun at Luka throughout the game and chanted “Luka is fat” when Doncic went to the charity stripe.
The perennial All-Star has long been known for sporting a dad bod and still dominating the league. But kicking the man while his team was down was an act of savagery from Hawks fans.
Keep in mind, Dallas acquired Luka Doncic in a trade with Atlanta in 2018 after the Hawks picked him with the third overall pick. Atlanta got some added satisfaction from beating their original pick.
Luka was lukewarm in Sunday’s game, scoring 22 points on 8 of 20 shooting. Kyrie Irving led the Mavs with 41 points. Late in the game, Luka’s ball dominance kept the ball out of Irving’s hands — the latter having the hotter hand on the night.
Earlier this week, Irving called the Mavericks’ chase for the postseason a “clusterf**k.”
In Sept. 2022, Doncic reportedly showed up to Mavs training camp at 260 lbs. (standing at 6-foot-7).
The Mavs and Doncic will have to spark a glint of late-season hope to convince impending free agent Kyrie Irving to return. In February, Dallas traded key role players Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and several draft picks for Irving.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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