Things got chippy between two NBA stars on Sunday as Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker were face-to-face jawing at each other at the end of the 130-126 Suns win.
With six seconds left in the game, the Suns were leading 128-126 with the Mavericks in possession of the ball. Of course, for a shot of this magnitude to tie the game, it was in Doncic’s hands.
But he wasn’t able to see it through the hoop as his four-foot layup rimmed out and Kevin Durant scooped up the rebound to force a foul for free throws to ice it.
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As Durant came down and Doncic fouled him, the latter couldn’t believe the shot didn’t go in. Doncic also heard something that Booker said, which led to him quickly getting in his face before needing to be separated.
After referee review, Doncic and Booker were hit with technical fouls that offset. Durant eventually hit both free throws and won the game for Phoenix.
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When it was time for post-game interviews, both Doncic and Booker spoke to the situation as reporters were curious what was said. Doncic noted Booker talking to him prior to that shot happening, but said he couldn’t divulge the details or he might get himself or Booker fined.
However, he did throw a slight jab at the Suns’ star.
“It’s a competitive game. It’s all good. Next time, just don’t wait until there’s three seconds left to talk,” Doncic said.
According to ESPN, Doncic was heard saying “Shut the f–k up” to Booker after the missed layup. Apparently, Booker taunted Doncic after the potential game-tying bucket.
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Booker, on the other hand, said he was talking to the referee.
“Not here to tattletale,” he started when asked about what was said. “We got some smoke. It’s just two competitors going at it. Everybody speaks on how friendly the NBA is now and don’t like that. I have no problem with Luka on or off the court. But when we’re competing, we’re competing.”
Video also showed Kyrie Irving, who was traded to the Mavericks from the Brooklyn Nets prior to the NBA trade deadline, also going back and forth with Booker.
Both teams are set for the playoffs right now, the Suns in the fourth seed while Dallas sits in the seventh seed. So, this matchup could be one that’s seen down the road when it matters most.
Durant, whom the Nets traded to the Suns last month, was the leading scorer for this game, dropping 37 points with seven rebounds and three assists over his 40 minutes of work. Booker almost matched him with 36 of his own, collecting a double-double with 10 assists as well.
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As for Doncic, he led the way for Dallas with 34 points, nine boards and four assists, while Irving had 30 with seven assists and four rebounds.