With the Mavericks currently on the outside looking in at the play-in tournament, each of the team’s final seven games carries enormous weight. And midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Hornets, star point guard Luka Dončić received a technical foul that could end up being a devastating blow to the team’s postseason hopes.
Dončić was issued the technical after saying something to an official following a missed a shot attempt after which appeared to argue for a foul call. It was his 16th technical foul of the season, meaning that, unless the call is rescinded upon review, he will be suspended for Dallas’s game on Monday against the Pacers.
The Hornets ended up winning, 110-104, handing Dallas its fourth consecutive loss. The Mavericks have now lost 13 of their past 18 games to fall out of the postseason picture into 11th place in the Western Conference. Dončić finished Sunday’s game with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Dončić had voiced his frustrations after Friday’s loss to Charlotte, saying he hasn’t felt like himself on the court and alluding to “a lot going on” away from the court.
The Mavericks have made the playoffs in each of the past three years, advancing to the Western Conference finals last season. Sunday’s game against Charlotte marked the start of a five-game road trip. After that, Dallas will wrap up the regular season on a three-game home stand.