DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving missed another loss to Memphis with the Dallas Mavericks getting tight on time to secure a playoff berth a year after a trip to the Western Conference finals.
Doncic and Irving sat out the finale of a home-and-home with the Grizzlies, who won 104-88 on Monday night. Doncic is dealing with a left thigh strain that required an MRI, and Irving has a sore right foot.
The Mavericks are a game under .500 for the first time since December — at risk of landing in the West play-in tournament or out of the postseason all together.
Dallas coach Jason Kidd said he hoped Doncic could practice Tuesday before the start of a three-game trip. But he offered a vague “day-to-day” on all specific questions about the injuries to the 24-year-old star and his new sidekick, the eight-time All-Star Irving.
“If we can get healthy, we feel that we can do a lot in the playoffs,” Kidd said before the game. “But first, you’ve got to get to the playoffs. We we’ve got to win some games here.”
The All-Star pair of Doncic and Irving sat out a 112-108 loss in Memphis on Saturday night. They were joined on the sideline Monday by forward Christian Wood, who has a sore right foot.
The Grizzlies were without star point guard Ja Morant for a fifth consecutive game because of his issues off the court.
Morant is away from the team after posting a video last weekend in which he appeared to be displaying a gun at a Denver-area strip club.
Doncic’s MRI showed no significant damage to his thigh, which has been bothering him for two weeks. He was getting the thigh treated during games while continuing to play before finally leaving and not returning in a 113-106 loss at New Orleans last week.
The injuries have slowed the process of Doncic and Irving learning to play together since the blockbuster trade that brought Irving from Brooklyn last month and gave Dallas two All-Star starters for the first time in franchise history.
Phoenix has a similar scenario after acquiring Kevin Durant days after the Mavs’ deal for Irving. Durant is out until late in the regular season after injuring an ankle in pregame warmups last week.
“There are a lot of us in the West that are trying to figure it out, and whoever can figure it out first will be in a better place,” Kidd said. “We feel that we are one of those teams that can figure it out. But again, health is a part of this.”
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